Careers in a Senior Living Community
Whether you're just starting out on your career path or looking to change professions later in life, one sector worth considering is senior living. As more and more baby boomers retire, the demand for senior housing rises, creating a need for professionals in a wide range of associated fields and opening up some new career opportunities.
While jobs in the residential senior care industry can provide a secure and rewarding career path for enthusiastic, compassionate job seekers, what many people don't realize is the scope of employment available. Beyond the obvious health care occupations such as skilled nursing and health aides, assisted living communities employ chefs, activity coordinators and behind-the-scenes professionals in areas such as human resources and IT. Below are just a few of the many careers you might want to consider in this growing sector, and what skill sets they entail.
As senior living communities begin to offer additional levels of care for their residents, careers for nurses have blossomed in these communities. From administering medication to assessing residents' health, assisted living nurses may have a variety of duties. While some communities hire LPNs, others may seek out RNs, depending on the level of care provided to residents. The American Assisted Living Nurses Association now offers certification specifically designed for nurses interested in a career in assisted living.
Senior living communities employ resident assistant health aides to assist less-mobile residents with activities of daily living and occasional light housekeeping tasks. These aides often provide extra help with recreation and social activities to ensure that all residents are able to participate. While educational requirements may vary between assisted living communities and from state to state, certification is available online and at many universities. Some senior living communiites also hire certified nursing assistants in a similar capacity.
Chefs and Kitchen Staff
No longer do senior living communities or menus have the stigma of bland institutional food. These days, many senior communities provide vibrant, restaurant-style meals with food designed and delivered by classically trained chefs. Many senior living communities such as Brightview Senior Living now employ full-time kitchen staff ranging from executive chefs to dishwashers and servers as well. For individuals with a love of food and a desire to bring quality cuisine to an appreciative audience, a career in senior living may be the perfect fit. In fact, many of Brightview's Dining Services Directors have extensive culinary experience across the world.
Community Executive Directors
Executive Directors work in an entrepreneurial environment and are empowered to lead each of their communities with creativity and independence. They're given the opportunity to take their community and make it their own. That means being hands-on, involved in every facet of the operation – Hospitality, Health Services, Dining, Programming, Sales, Maintenance, and the Business Office.
The Executive Director of a Brightview Senior Living community embraces the vision, mission, and vibrancy of the organization by leading and growing a team of stellar associates. They create and maintain a vibrant and engaging living environment for their residents through fostering a great place to work for their associates and directors.
For many seniors, the choice to transition to senior living is difficult and may involve leaving a beloved house and neighborhood. As the sales team is often the first contact a senior has with an assisted living community, it is vital that these individuals are personable, articulate and able to handle difficult questions, and while a formal education is not necessarily required, outside sales experience and attention to detail is beneficial.
The Community Sales Director at a Brightview is often the first person our future residents and families have the opportunity to meet. That first impression conveys our vision, mission and the vibrancy of our organization to them and the surrounding community.
Vibrant Living Directors (Program Coordinators)
Socialization in most modern senior living communities revolves around more than just traditional favorites such as bingo, generating a need for outgoing, creative-minded activity coordinators. Seniors who choose an senior living lifestyle often have high standards for community activities, expecting guest performers, visiting lecturers, off-site trips and other structured programs. Activity coordinators arrange on-site entertainment, workshops and other events designed to keep residents engaged and active in the community. This position may include flexible hours, and although this profession doesn't generally require formalized education, a professional activity certification is available for individuals wishing to pursue a career in senior activities. Brightview Senior Living as Vibrant Living Directors in each community to provide vibrant programming to our residents through our SPICE philosophy (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Cultural, Emotional).
Many senior living communities offer transportation to shuttle residents to and from medical appointments, shopping centers and local points of interest. Licensed drivers with impeccable driving records are always needed for these regularly scheduled outings. Shuttle drivers are responsible for the safety of their passengers and may be asked to chaperone off-site activities in addition to driving.
Additional Career Opportunities
While the sheer volume of possible senior living careers makes it impossible to list them all, other prominent job prospects in senior living communities include:
- Move-in Coordinators
- Medication Technicians
- Concierge staff
- Business Managers
- Health Services Directors
- Maintenance Directiors and Technicians
- Home Office Positions (Leadership, Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Accounting, etc.)
Those who enjoy working with a lively older community may find the the senior living sector to be stimulating and rewarding. Here at Brightview, our team of associates strive to connect with our residents, making it a great place work and a great place to live. In 2019, Brightview was named a Certified Great Place to Work by Forbes. Visit our career page for more information on available positions and the benefits of working at our vibrant community.Apply Today