I have worked in senior living since 1989. When I look back at all the changes in this industry since I first became involved, I am both amazed and encouraged. Senior living communities are better places to live not only to the physical structures of the buildings, but the improvement in the many different services which are available.
I am amazed because 25 years ago looks nothing like what we are doing today. We are fortunate to live in a progressive society where each generation wants better things for the next generations. The providers along with the state regulators have to be open to changes that allow us to improve the quality of life for our seniors.
Sagora Senior Living is very involved with being an active voice for seniors with legislators, and has helped shape laws that allow our seniors to have choices. We have taken suggestions and ideas from our current residents and associates and incorporated those into our new developments. Countless hours are spent with architects to make the next senior community better than the last. Our competition is also working to improve their communities, and this is encouraging for the generations to come.
But this is not the best news or the most amazing.
I am encouraged about the progress we have made with changing the perception of senior living in the past 25 years.
I believe this has happened because our residents, families and associates have been able to experience this positive difference and share their stories. More importantly, I am encouraged with the growth of the senior living industry and the vast opportunities we can now offer our associates. Our associates are the ones that touch the lives of our residents and families after all. The truly great ones, and there are many, get excited about the relationships they forge and the resident smiles they can generate each day.
When they laugh, cry, encourage, sympathize, and relate to the emotions of our residents they discover and understand that this is much more than a job. It is more than flipping burgers or making widgets: their actions change the lives of our residents. I have seen this type of job fulfillment ignite a passion in associates that give them the determination to advance and grow personally and professionally. It is a gift of self-fulfillment that keeps on giving, and this is what keeps me encouraged for the future of senior living and the future of senior care.
It is an interesting dynamic to sit back and observe the relationship between an associate and resident, and truly wonder who is receiving the bigger gift.
– Kendal Nelson, Corporate Director of Acquisitions and Start-Ups