DD Farmer, 31, loves her job as Household Coordinator at Deupree Cottages
Have you considered a career in elder care? If you’re a conscientious, person-centered professional, you should. Unfortunately, many new grads and mid-career workers don’t.
That’s because there are a lot of myths about senior care. Today, we’d like to take some time to bust a few of those myths, and show you why a career in geriatrics and retirement care can be very rewarding.
There are no jobs in senior care for people without healthcare experience.
Elder care isn’t just health care. It’s providing support for a complete senior lifestyle. And it’s a business. We need people of all professional backgrounds and skills.
Consider the case of our recently-retired VP of Marketing, Ken Paley. He came to us from an advertising and consulting background.
Paley’s mother was a memory care resident in our Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community. Over the course of several months and many visits with his mother, Paley noticed that he enjoyed interacting with all the residents. And he suddenly felt called to lend his support and expertise toward ensuring that seniors like his mother got the resources they needed to continue living well.
So, he reached out to us. When we found ourselves in need of guidance in our marketing efforts, he got the job. And he spent the last stage of his professional life, by his own account, in his career’s most rewarding role.
Or, talk to Lydell Carter, our 31-year-old Director of Finance. Carter isn’t a healthcare provider. He’d never worked in health care before; he came to us with an insurance and banking background. But he knew he wanted to make a difference.
“When I considered this job,” he said, “I wanted an organization that was a person-centered place to work. ERS is that type of place. They don’t just preach it. They live it.”
“Here our resources go back to our residents and patients,” Carter noted. “It makes my job so much more rewarding. The focus is on people, not on money.”
You’re caring for the dying.
We don’t manage “nursing homes.” Sure, some of the seniors we care for need ongoing skilled nursing. Some need advanced memory care. But the majority of the residents we care for here at Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) are vibrant, active seniors, who just need a little help with the tasks of daily living.
One of the great benefits of working at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) like Marjorie P. Lee or Deupree House is interacting with seniors who reside at various levels along the continuum of care.
(Malia at Marjorie P. Lee)
A physical therapist assistant, for example, might in the morning help a post-surgical patient on a short-term recovery stay to build his or her strength, in the afternoon lead an assisted living resident through an exercise program designed to improve joint health and flexibility, and in the early evening conduct an assessment for an independent living resident who might be noticing that he or she needs additional support.
Seniors are difficult to work with.
We find it’s quite the opposite. The folks we serve are pleasant, friendly and incredibly appreciative of the support we provide for them.
“I love working with seniors, hearing their wisdom,” said DD Farmer, the Household Coordinator at our Deupree Cottages community. “We’re like a family here.”
We often care for seniors for many years. We see the changes in them over time. We get to know them well. We get to know their spouses, their children and their grandchildren. We develop care relationships that enrich, shape and give us perspective on our own lives.
And we shape our residents’ lives, too. They want to know about us. They chat with us. At our best, they share in our successes. At our lowest, they encourage us (and vice versa). And they share their life experiences with us, allowing us to benefit from lessons they often had to learn the hard way.
Are you wondering if a career in elder care might be the path for you?
If you’re just looking for a workaday healthcare job, elder care probably isn’t for you.
But, if you’re looking for a spiritually rewarding, career position that will allow you to practice person-centered care — and if your passion is to ensure that every senior you work with can live out his or her life in the dignity and comfort they earned over the years — you’d fit right in at ERS.
Check out the positions we have available right now in Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville and the surrounding Tristate area. We’d love to talk to you more about how rewarding a career in elder care can be.