Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in an Assisted Living facility? It’s not easy work, but it can be one of the most rewarding careers out there. The residents you meet and the relationships you build with both them and your fellow employees can literally change your life. When people move into senior living, it’s a huge adjustment. Being surrounded by staff that has the compassion to understand the difficulties we will all face later in life can make a huge difference.
What Can You Expect?
The main to expect when working in a nursing home or an assisted living community is to expect the unexpected. Typically, assisted living facilities are active communities and you never know what the day will bring. Of course, the main thing you will be focused on is providing care for the patients and residents who live there. This includes everything from nursing and medical care to helping a resident with their activities of daily living. You may run a senior yoga class, or arrange for a local high school choir to come in and perform a concert. You also may help residents with more sensitive tasks such as bathing, toileting, and getting from one place to another.
The Benefits of Working in an Assisted Living Community
While the work can be challenging, there are many benefits to working in a senior facility. If you are interested in a nursing career, working in assisted living provides the opportunity to work with nurses and gain some valuable hands-on experience. Most senior living facilities provide their staff with the opportunity to become First Aid and CPR certified free of charge. This way employees are always prepared to support a resident in need.
A more personal benefit is the ability to give back to a generation that did so much to help us learn and grow. It’s very rewarding to help members of your assisted living community live fuller, happier lives. Many long-term patients do not get regular visits from family and friends. So it means a lot when you building relationships with the residents. You may be surprised by the stories you’ll hear and the valuable lessons you can learn from the seniors you take care of day in and day out.
What Types of Employees Work in Assisted Living?
Many jobs come together to help nursing homes and assisted living facilities to run smoothly. We consider nurses management when it comes to the total care and medical needs of a patient. A nurse that works in any senior care facility needs special skills, training, and schooling to perform their duties. Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, provide basic care to residents who need help completing daily tasks. They assist in nursing duties such as the daily monitoring and recording of vital signs. They also help patients with their daily physical needs, including eating, bathing, using the bathroom, and moving around.
Administration employees help run the day-to-day of the facility. While Marketing professionals work to spread the word about their facility and make sure potential residents see the benefits of one facility over another. The Maintenance staff has a huge responsibility in giving patients a clean and pleasing environment to live in. It takes a large team with many different skills to provide the high level of care residents deserve.
How to Adjust to an Assisted Living Career
If you have never worked in senior services before, it may take a bit of an adjustment before you are completely comfortable. One of the most important things to watch out for is something known as compassion fatigue. Most people who go for a job working in a nursing home or an assisted living facility do so because they want to make a difference. As much as you want to make an impact on the health and well-being of your residents, it’s important to maintain professional boundaries for your own health and well-being. Empathy is important when working in senior living, but empathy without boundaries can drain you both mentally and physically.
It’s also helpful to remember that not everyone who lives at your facility wants to be there. They may be suffering from serious healthcare problems such as dementia, or more general mental conditions such as depression. Basically, often aging seniors have a lot to deal with. Try not to take it personally if they are not initially receptive to your help and support.
Lastly, you can’t work in such a personal capacity with people without talking about grief. Death is never far away when working in a nursing home or senior care community. You will be in close contact and develop personal relationships with seniors who are nearing the end of their life. It can be very difficult to let go when the inevitable happens. Learn to lean on your peers. Talk to your coworkers and take advantage of any support program your facility has to offer.
If you are interested in finding a job within the assisted living community, there is always a need for professionals willing to take on the challenge. Come on board and get ready to embark on an amazing career. Visit our career page for more information see what positions are available!