Many new grads and mid-career healthcare workers haven’t considered a career in elder care.
There’s many reasons that they should, and we can testify that working with seniors is one of the most intensely gratifying, rewarding roles most of us here at Episcopal Church Home (ECH) have ever worked in!
If any myths or stigmas are still floating around out there about senior care. Today, let’s discuss (and bust) a few of them.
Here’s our fresh take on working in elder care.Older people do not make difficult ‘patients’.
Quite the opposite, in fact. The residents we serve here at ECH are pleasant, friendly and very, very appreciative. And so are their family members.
We often care for people over a period of many years. We get to know them well. We meet their partners, their children, their grandchildren and their friends. We develop care relationships with them all. And those relationships enrich our perspective.
Some of the time we spend interacting with our senior residents is spent providing direct care or supportive services and, to be candid, not all those tasks are physically easy to perform. But the majority of our interactions are social.
We chat with our residents. We plan parties and outings for them. We sit down with them at meal times and talk about their memories. They ask us about our lives outside of work. They want to know us, and we want to know them.
Because, you know what? Older people are very cool to hang out with.
Even as we cheer them, they encourage us. They share their life experiences with us. They mentor us. And their advice often keeps us from learning lessons the hard way, the way they had to when they were younger.
You wouldn’t be working in a “nursing home,” and you’re not caring for the dying.
Let’s go ahead and nip both of those notions right in the bud.
First of all, hospice care is for the dying. Not personal care and skilled nursing care. Although palliative care can certainly be a rewarding, life-affirming field in its own right, that’s not what we provide here at ECH.
Second, ECH isn’t a stereotypical “nursing home.”
Most retirement communities today — here in Louisville and throughout the United States — aren’t traditional nursing homes. We’re a continuing care retirement community, or CCRC, so we have residents ranging the spectrum from newly-retired, healthy and completely independent seniors, to seniors in the twilight of their lives.
We provide enriched living for seniors who want to enjoy their retirement, worry-free. We provide person-centered, dignified assisted living and memory care services for seniors who need a little extra physical or cognitive support.
And we provide a safe, medically-monitored living environment for residents who are no longer able to care for themselves. Our community is really a collection of “neighborhoods,” each geared toward seniors’ unique, changing needs.
Click here and see for yourself: our personal care home is brightly lit, cheery and anything but institutional in feel. Our grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. And there’s something new and exciting happening here every day.
There are plenty of jobs in senior care for people who don’t health care 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 parent organization’s recently-retired VP of Marketing, Ken Paley. He came to Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) from an advertising and consulting background.
Paley’s mother was a memory care resident in our sister community, Marjorie P. Lee, up in Cincinnati.
Over the course of several months and many visits, Paley noticed that he enjoyed interacting with all the residents there — not just with his mom. He felt called to lend his support and expertise to ensure that seniors like his mother got the resources they needed to continue living well.
So, he reached out to ERS. He quit his job as a marketing consultant, and came to work with our group. And he spent the last stage of his professional life, by his own account, in his career’s most rewarding role.
And we don’t just need marketers. We don’t even just need professionals. We need van drivers. We need receptionists. We need dining room attendants, chefs and line cooks. If you want to work with seniors, we probably have a role for you to fill, whatever your skill set.
As they say, it takes a village. And ECH is indeed a whole village.
Are you wondering if a career at Episcopal Church Home might be right for you?
If you’re looking for a rewarding role in Louisville that will allow you to render person-centered care — and if your passion is to ensure that every senior lives in dignity and comfort — you’d fit right in here at ECH.
Click here to see the positions we have available. Let’s start your career in senior care!