Photo: Nonprofit Internship Program – Nazmul Haque

Road to Do the Undone: Analogizing Affordability of the Services for Older Adults

Posted on July 03, 2024 by Nazmul Haque, Nonprofit Internship Program

Editor's Note: Through a collaboration with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation's Nonprofit Internship Program connects students at the school with opportunities at nonprofits in the Suncoast region. A successful internship results in students gaining priceless experience and insight into nonprofit work, while a nonprofit gains valuable completed projects from students educated at the world's first school of philanthropy. The Patterson Foundation aspires to strengthen students and regional nonprofits through the Nonprofit Internship Program to build a stronger philanthropic sector and society. Contact Nazmul Haque on LinkedIn here.


In every civilization, from ancient to the modern era, senior members of the community have always been considered the most precious assets. Not only are they decisively experienced, but they are also full of wisdom, achieved through their contributions to humanity. I come from a society where respect and honor for seniors are consistently upheld in every aspect of life. Growing up, I witnessed how my grandparents were shown the utmost respect and included in every family matter, whether it was an issue or a decision.

Working as an intern at Senior Friendship Centers (SFC) was an exceptional opportunity for me to receive real-world experience. The internship gave me a whole new perspective on elder care because my culture does not have retirement facilities; the community looks after its aging population within the family structure. I hold great thankfulness to Mr. Declan Sheehy and Amy Helms, who made the onboarding process very easy and smooth. They catalyzed my transition into this internship environment, allowing me to contribute meaningfully.

One of my primary tasks during the internship was to write a report on the impact of SFC on the lives of older adults in Florida. The aim was to focus on how SFC provides services at minimal or no cost compared to traditional nursing homes or retirement facilities. Initially, I assumed I could easily find data on the costs and services of nursing facilities through online research. However, this proved false. Despite extensive searches, I repeatedly encountered obstacles. Knowing my difficulties, Mr. Declan Sheehy gave me some important reports and links, and Georgann Nugent arranged my interviews with people from service industries which provided me with deeper insights into the industry's perspective and comparative costs of services. Finally, I managed to compile a report reflecting SFC's immense and impactful work since 1973. The report emphasizes how SFC has helped senior citizens across Florida ensure that such services are affordable and accessible.

It was a long and learning-filled journey to complete the report, an experience I will always treasure for its lessons. Many tasks, which may seem simple at first, are indeed complicated and overwhelming. It further reiterated no matter how petite or huge the task is, persistence, patience, and determination will get me across the finish line. My internship at SFC deepened my understanding of the complexities of elder care and the crucial role community-based organizations play in supporting our aging population. It has also reinforced my belief in giving respect and honor to senior members of my community, ensuring they are well-catered to and supported.

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