Working with older adults in a senior living community can not only be rewarding, but it can also mean a stable job and an interesting career path full of opportunities you may not have even dreamed of.
For example, did you know that there are senior living roles that include job duties such as planning events and excursions around town, creating professional referral relationships with hospitals in the area, or creating menus to entice residents and guests? If you have a talent or a passion—and we all do—you can likely find a way to use it to serve residents in a senior living community.
If a senior living job is on your career plan, making sure you find a community that values its team members is crucial. Unfortunately, burnout rates in senior living can be high, leading to professionals leaving the field altogether. However, the right choice of community can help you avoid burnout and instead find a fun and empowering place to call home for your next career steps.
Finding the right senior living job, as well as the right community, doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve compiled a few things to consider as you begin your senior living job hunt so that you can be confident you are making a wise decision.
1. Senior Living Job Opportunities
Senior living jobs are plentiful, and financial and career sources agree that when it comes to job stability, senior living is a great option. However, job stability only comes if you like the job you’re in and feel like you’re making a difference daily at work.
The first step in finding a senior living job you’ll love is to determine what type of job you like and qualify for.
Job opportunities in the senior living field include housekeeping and maintenance staff that keep the community functioning and beautiful, as well as clinical staff like caregivers and nurses who are on the front lines of resident care. There are also life enrichment positions, dining positions, and leadership roles available at senior living communities.
The good news is that most assisted living, independent living, and memory care communities do not require extensive experience for caregiving jobs. This means that if you have a true passion for serving older adults but don’t have any background in doing so, you can still apply for caregiving positions and be considered.
If you’re curious about job opportunities at a senior living community, begin by looking at websites of communities near you. There are so many positions at each community, and each is crucial to the overall resident experience. Take the time to read the job descriptions, and don’t be afraid to contact the community to ask any additional questions you might have.
2. Benefits and Perks
As with any job, senior living communities offer benefits and perks to their employees. However, not all benefits and perks are created equal. Ask about benefits and perks of the job while you’re interviewing so that you are clear about what to expect long before you accept any position.
Look for a community that features competitive wages as well as affordable health insurance, paid time off, paid family leave, and 401(k) matching. At Cedarhurst, we offer all this in addition to incentive opportunities, an employee assistance program, free uniforms, free meals, and referral programs.
Remember, benefits and perks also include opportunities for advancement and ongoing education so that you can grow your career and responsibilities within your community. At Cedarhurst Senior Living communities, we focus on investing in our team members so that we can support and serve them while they support and serve our residents.
3. Overall Experience and Employee Satisfaction
Senior living communities are always focused on the resident experience, and rightfully so. However, the best senior living communities are also laser-focused on the experience and satisfaction of their team members.
At Cedarhurst Senior Living communities, for example, we have extended our Living TRUESM program into an authentic culture for everyone, especially our team members. We’re committed to showing team members they’re valued, supported, and able to live life to the fullest while serving residents.
Look for a senior living community that focuses on supporting employees instead of fueling the caregiver burnout culture where employees stay for less than a few years before leaving senior care completely. You can ask questions regarding staff turnover rates, in addition to asking what type of staff support services are offered.
4. Time with Residents
One of the biggest highlights of a senior living job is the opportunity team members have to interact regularly with residents. Spending time with residents is a real treat, especially as you get to know their preferences, stories, and history. They always have a story to tell as long as someone is there to listen.
Make sure you find a role that will give you the time you want to spend with residents. Caregivers spend the most time with residents, of course, but there are plenty of other roles that will ensure you have the time to grab a cup of tea and chat with a group of residents during your workday.
It’s important, too, that you look for a community that wants its employees to slow down and spend that extra time with residents. A senior living job is busy, certainly, but it is that conversation over a cup of tea that is most important and you want to work in a community that values that connection.
5. Opportunities for Career Growth
You might start at a senior living community as a caregiver, but you might have bigger career dreams too. Finding the right senior living community that will nurture that dream of yours and create a pathway to the position you are striving for is an important consideration as you start your job search.
Speak with the senior living leaders you are interviewing with about any mentor programs they may have where experienced team members train new team members, as well as ongoing education opportunities that can help you build your experience while working toward a leadership role.
At Cedarhurst Senior Living communities, we are always looking to promote team members from within! Our mentor programs are the foundation of our new employee training experience and we offer ongoing training to team members who are looking to learn more about best practices in senior care.
6. Teamwork Matters
Finally, make sure you find a senior living community that values teamwork. When you work at a senior living community, you’ll find that your job satisfaction comes from the team you work with. A solid team that pitches in and supports one another is the ideal scenario.
Ask about teamwork culture within the community as well as within the specific shift you’re interviewing for. Although not all teams are perfect, as long as everyone is in there to put residents first, you will feel supported by your peers.
Learn More About Cedarhurst Senior Living Job Opportunities
At Cedarhurst, we’re dedicated to serving both our residents and our team members. Our communities are fun places to work, where teams flourish and team members can work their way into new leadership positions.
Take a look at our available job opportunities and start your Cedarhurst career soon. We can’t wait to meet you!