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Why We Do What We Do: National Assisted Living Week 2021

By: Commonwealth Senior Living / 17 Sep 2021
Why We Do What We Do: National Assisted Living Week 2021

At Commonwealth Senior Living, our mission is to improve the lives of seniors, their families, and each other. This year, as we celebrated National Assisted Living Week in our communities, we asked our associates who fulfill our mission each day the questions - "Why did you choose a career in senior living?" and "What does your career mean to you?" Here's what they had to say!

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"My reason is a personal one. I've been in and out of the medical field since high school - nursing, paramedic/fire fighter, medical offices, etc. In 1993, I had a child that ended up on full life support with nursing care at home, a breathing machine, feeding machine, the whole works. I had to train all of her nurses how to take care of her and went through MANY of them. The ones I let go didn't have the compassion, caring, and "human touch/bedside manor" I wanted for my daughter. So I trained the ones that were competent in how I wanted my daughter to be cared for. I basically told them to care for her as if she were their child and that seemed to work for most. After years of weeding through thousands, I found a core staff of nurses I called family and life became our version of normal. I've always loved elderly people. Most just want to pass their life stories on to the younger generations in the hopes that someone will remember them fondly. I love listening to people's life stories. They shed a little light on the events in their lives that made them who they are. And I believe in my heart that letting the elderly tell their stories is therapeutic in a way. So, after many years of not being in the medical field, I lost my daughter in 2020 to multiple infections that they medical staff could just not get under control. It was very hard for me this last year not having the one thing that I had grown accustomed to - caring for someone. So I answered the add for a caregiver at CSL at Bel Air and went for the interview. I was very surprised to find that the hiring manager was looking for a Business Office Manager and asked me if I would be interested in that position instead. I had many years as an Office Manager for different companies and asked more about it. After a lengthy explanation, I agreed to the BOM position and that's how I became the newest member of the CSL at Bel Air team."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"When I was in my 20's, I had the most honorable pleasure of meeting a man who survived a concentration camp. He described life back then and showed me his number tattooed on his wrist. I think he just wanted to talk about it and felt I was a good listener. Since then, I wanted to someday work with seniors. A few years later, I was waiting in the dentist's office. Beside me was an older gentleman. We struck up a small conversation that blossomed into a history lesson. He spoke about the beginning of the railroad system in Wilmington, NC. I realized I was listening to someone who saw first hand the onset of the Wilmington railroad. Once again, that feeling of wanting to work with seniors. It means that I get the honor of listening to these fine people talk about their history. I get to tell silly jokes and they smile and laugh. I have the pleasure of playing games or exercising with my residents. I can go on and on with what this means to me, but this picture shows some of my reasons."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"I chose a career in senior living because I love being around the elderly. I enjoy conversating with them and listening to the exciting life stories they share with me. They are special to me and some can teach me things I never knew and some give good advice. I also love hearing the war stories from the veterans who served in the military."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"I will be having my six year anniversary with CSL in November. Like everything in life, it's had it's ups and downs, but I can't think of any other job that has been as rewarding as this one - to see all these residents and be a part of their lives every day. They bring a smile to my face and I hope I'm able to add just a little bit of kind words and a smile for them also as they touch my heart and add so much value to mine."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"Why? Well, it's a funny answer for me. I have always joked with my friends and family while raising my two boys, ‘When I grow up, I'm going to get my dream job working with seniors.' Well, my boys grew into men, so I stepped outside my comfort zone of working in the construction industry for over 20 years and applied for an activity position. So I'm now working my dream job with seniors here at CSL at Churchland House."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"The reason I chose this career is because of my mom. She worked with elderly people my entire childhood. She took care of people from doing their hair to providing one on one in home care. I always loved going with her to work so I could visit these precious people. I have a huge place in my heart for the elderly."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"I was blessed to have been raised with all four grandparents. They helped instill in me a strong sense of understanding and compassion for their generation. Each, in their own way, taught me to appreciate the wisdom that is only gained with age and the acceptance of that which life hands you - especially when it was not at all what you had planned! My long career in all the stages and types of senior living has provided countless opportunities to learn from those that have come before and hopefully, helped shape me to perhaps provide a measure of guidance to those who come after me."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"I chose senior living due to the amount of joy I get when coming in to see these residents happy and inspired. I feel as if being here for residents is something that can change the way you feel about your seniors and make you look at life in a different way. As working here at CSL, I have grown close to residents and established relationships with families and residents, is something I will never forget. It's amazing to be able to work somewhere where you can make a difference in someone else's life. I love it here at CSL!"

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"After growing up with grandparents around and then watching my mom handle her Alzheimer's for nine and a half years, I wanted to be able to give myself to others. I love living in their community, seeing life through their eyes, and being there to hold a door, offer a bottle of water, deliver a newspaper, and see their smiles when family comes to visit!"

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"My grandmother was the matriarch of our family. She was a fantastic wife, mother, business owner, cook, the list goes on. She held our family together and brought out the best in us. When the time came that she needed more care than we could provide, she moved into independent living, then assisted living, and finally memory care. I saw the way the team there loved her and snuck her chocolate ice cream on her bad days. I saw the way they did her hair and laughed with her when she giggled. They provided what we could not. They become part of our family and attended her funeral when she passed, crying along with us. This was a gift we didn't know we needed. I am tremendously proud to be a part of a team that provides this gift every day."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"My grandmother was diagnosed with dementia in high school. She lived with us and passed away. It was so sad to see her decline, and so when I had the opportunity to go to college, I knew I wanted to serve seniors. Every day I feel blessed to work in an amazing field that allows us to serve others."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"My grandparents have always been an active part of my life, attending every swim meet, softball game, graduation, wedding, and everything else in between. My father's parents lived next door for most of my life. Being a part of a blended family, I'm blessed with more grandparents than most - 9 in total, all of which being some of the most caring people I've met. With so many grandparents in my life, they and their generation hold a special place in my heart. When I was young, my great grandmother passed away form dementia, and one of my grandfathers was recently diagnosed as well. I've always wanted to have a career where I'm able to help others, so I'm grateful to be a part of an amazing company who truly fulfils the mission of improving the lives of seniors each day and have the opportunity to share our residents' stories."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"Initially when I joined CSL, it was just a second job for me in the evenings in dining. As time went on, I realized it was a great place to work and grow as a person. I eventually became full time and found a passion in being a service for others. After four years, I felt it was time to try something new, so I left dining for nursing. My reason was I wanted to make an impact and make a difference long term. It was a big change, but I felt I had the right tools to thrive in nursing. It turns out it was the best decision I've made and it brings me joy to be a service every day. It's the appreciation and knowing I'm making a difference that keeps me motivated. I switched to nursing in March of 2021, and that was the last day I worked in my life. Since then, it hasn't been work for me, but a blessing to be a part of something so big and to touch so many hearts."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"I began working in senior living in 2017 as an Activities Assistant here at CSL Willow Grove and loved being able to perform for the residents while also getting to know each and every one of them, their likes and dislikes. I began creating shows/cabaret nights of their favorite artists - Andrew Lloyd Webber, Barbara Streisand, and Judy Garland - to share their life stories along with their most famous hits. When I transitioned to the business office, I was able to celebrate with residents and associates with special events we hold at our community, including the luau where I dress up as the Pineapple Princess! It brings me joy to dance and celebrate life with our residents and associates. I cannot wait to bring smiles to their faces for our upcoming Sock Hop on Grease Day as a Pink Lady!"

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"As a Native American, seniors are one of the most important groups of people in the community. They are our history, our story tellers, our faith keepers. Each of our elders are a treasure. My role helps me fulfil my cultural desire to protect those vital members of any community and I'm so blessed to be here."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"I started out as the Concierge in 2019 and absolutely fell in love with the residents. Next thing you know, the Activities Assistant position opened, and I thought, I can do more with and for them. I love to plan outings for them. Making them happy makes me smile."

Commonwealth Senior Living National Assisted Living Week Lisa

"I started in senior living as a way to use my skills in something other than the hotel industry, which I enjoyed but with a young family, I didn't like working every holiday, lots of nights, and weekends. I made senior living my career when I learned how much I enjoyed improving the lives of seniors and when I recognized how much of an impact we made on their lives and the lives of their families. A resident's daughter told me we had ‘given her her mom back' since she didn't have to be the ‘parent' anymore and could be the ‘child' again. That hooked me."

If you are a kind-hearted individual that wants to bring joy and improve the lives of seniors in our communities, we would love to hear from you. Come build a career and make a difference in the lives of others at the same time. Click here to view current opportunities at Commonwealth Senior Living.

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