A senior living community is a busy place, full of residents pursuing their next opportunity to learn something new, connect with a neighbor, or get moving in a group fitness class. With all the hustle and bustle that unique residents bring to a community, there’s also an entire group of team members working hard to create a vibrant, safe, and comfortable community atmosphere for the residents who live there.
It takes a variety of team members, all dedicated to serving older adults, to make a senior living community run smoothly and successfully. Although different senior living communities might use different titles for similar job positions, one thing is certain: Residents and family members depend on the team members who come to work, whether they’re full-time or part-time.
Here are just a few senior living roles that you will find in a community, as well as how they bring their talents to the table as they serve residents and add to their community’s extended family.
Administrator or Executive Director
Senior living communities need a leader who can inspire team members, empower residents, and create a relationship of trust with family members. Depending on the senior living community, this leader is called an Administrator or Executive Director. These leaders have an education background in senior living or healthcare, as well as extensive experience working in other roles throughout the field.
Residents and family members are always welcome to stop by the Administrator’s office to say hello, ask a question, or get more information about a specific concern. You might also see your community’s leader dancing with residents at a happy hour event, leading a fire drill, or speaking at a community support group. These leaders are well-versed in all things senior living and love playing a part in community life.
Business Office Manager
For a family member, team members in the business office of their loved one’s senior living community become an important resource for information about their monthly billing, insurance coverage, tax questions, and even Medicare or Medicaid concerns. Although you might not see the Business Office Manager or business office team members very often, you can be sure they are always working hard to ensure your bills are correct and that your questions are answered.
Caregivers and Clinical Professionals
A team of caregivers, nurses, and other clinical professionals can be an important part of resident life in some senior living communities. These professionals help our residents thrive and stay healthy by providing support and resources.
Caregivers and Nurses
Caregivers in assisted living and memory care communities are available to support residents with personalized, around-the-clock assistance, and nurses provide critical oversight to ensure residents receive the best care possible that aligns with their physician’s orders.
If your loved one lives in an assisted living or memory care community, you’ll find yourself getting to know caregivers and nurses by name. These professionals love getting to know the residents they serve and their family members, and they will quickly become your source for information about how your loved one is feeling today or if there are any concerns.
In an independent living community, caregivers and nurses aren’t around because residents don’t require support with activities of daily living. However, you can still often find a nurse on staff during business hours at many independent living communities. They are there to answer questions about a new medication, administer a blood pressure test, or even walk a resident through how to check their own blood sugar.
In addition to nurses and caregivers, senior living communities sometimes provide an on-site therapy department where you can find physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, and their assistants. These professionals work in the on-site therapy gym, providing outpatient therapy services to residents who need reinforcement practice for balance, strength, endurance, mobility, or other prescribed reasons. Having an on-site therapy team means residents and family members can build a relationship with these clinical professionals, get questions answered conveniently, and count on a more personalized treatment plan.
In most senior living communities, enjoying a meal with friends is a staple of the daily routine. Residents gather together to eat delicious food, share conversation, and get to know their neighbors. It requires the effort of a full dining services department to put three meals per day on the table and create lively dining experiences for residents with varying tastes and nutritional needs.
A senior living community typically features a dining team led by a Dining Director. The full dining team includes executive chefs, sous chefs, dining room servers, dishwashers, and other key staff who contribute to a positive dining experience three times daily. Family members and residents get to know servers, chefs, and other dining team members quite well, and the dining team always loves hearing about residents’ favorite personal recipes.
Life Enrichment Director
The senior community lifestyle is all about access to amenities and services that support wellness and health goals. It’s also all about meeting new friends, trying new things, and pursuing favorite passions. The life enrichment department of each senior living community is there to create a calendar full of opportunities, events, and excursions that give residents the chance to create their perfect day.
A life enrichment team is typically made up of a few team members who plan, prepare for, and execute events for residents. They are the ones who book the Elvis impersonator for a ’50s themed happy hour, who work with the dining team to create a perfect menu for a family barbecue for the Fourth of July, and who connect two residents who love to play pinochle. These team members are always asking residents for ideas and finding new ways to surprise residents with a personalized experience.
Life enrichment might also include the concierge staff. Concierge team members are there to answer questions, greet guests, and serve as a hospitality contact person for family members and residents. They are the ones you call when you want to reserve the private dining room for a surprise birthday party or when you need someone to collect your mom’s mail when you take her for a weekend away for a family get-together.
Transportation team members often fall under the life enrichment umbrella as well. These drivers are not only safe on the road as they get residents from one place to another, but they also are typically quite fun, making any trip extra special.
If the community has a fitness center, they may also employ fitness center staff and personal trainers. These team members are there to support residents by leading a balance class or jotting down some recommended exercises that help the resident meet their health goals.
Finally, life enrichment typically leads the volunteer team at a senior living community. Volunteers can assist with tasks like delivering mail to residents, arranging flower displays to give to new residents when they move in, or leading a trivia group. If you see a volunteer at any senior living community, tell them thank you!
Environmental Services Director
The environmental services team, led by the Environmental Services Director, is not as visible as the other staff members in a senior living community. They are working behind the scenes to ensure the community looks its best and is operating safely and efficiently.
This team includes housekeepers who assist with regular cleaning of resident homes and shared spaces of the community. They are a crucial part of any senior living community’s infection control plan, playing a critical role by disinfecting surfaces and carefully incorporating other infection control best practices.
Maintenance team members are also in the environmental services department. These employees handle everything from resident maintenance requests to landscaping and ensuring important systems are working throughout the community.
The first person you are likely to speak with when you start your senior living journey is someone in the marketing department, which is led by the Marketing Director. These outgoing and passionate professionals are there to answer questions, listen carefully, and provide extensive support as you determine if senior living is right for you or your loved one.
You’ll get to know the marketing team during your initial conversations and tours, but once you or your loved one moves in, you’ll still see them around! Marketing professionals can be found hosting events at the community, stopping by to see how new residents are settling in, and catching up with family members as they visit.
When It Comes to Senior Living Roles, It Takes a Team Approach
Everyone who works at a senior living community, whether full-time or part-time, brings their own talents and interests to their role. Additionally, each department serves residents in a specific way, creating a well-rounded and positive experience for the seniors who live in the community.
At Cedarhurst Senior Living, we believe that our team’s desire to connect with residents and experience daily life together is what makes our communities stand out from the rest.