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April 14, 2023

The Hudson Grande Senior Living Executive Director Shares How She Got Her Start in Senior Living

Category: Senior Living

Author: Cheryl Walker, Executive Director

Senior living has certainly changed over the past decade. An industry that once provided very little hands-on care has blossomed into a wonderful option for older adults. It now provides varying levels of assistance with residents’ activities of daily living, while arranging many opportunities for socialization and community. I am fortunate to work for Arrow Senior Living leading the Hudson Grande Senior Living team. I would like to share a little about my journey to becoming a senior living leader.

I started out wanting to be a dietician. I got a summer job in a nursing home culinary department and found the more time I spent talking with the seniors, the more I enjoyed them. I was offered a job in a 16-bed group home for seniors and my career grew from there.

The longer I work in senior living, the more I see the need for advocacy. Oftentimes the older adult population is overlooked. We need people willing to talk to our state and national legislative delegates to keep the older population front and center. I also enjoy working with the families as they walk the journey of aging loved ones.

Prior to joining Arrow Senior Living, I worked for a private owned continuing care retirement community and then 14 years for a corporate owned senior living company. I now can make a bigger difference and have a voice in senior care; with Arrow I share thoughts and add value to the company.

It seems senior living is everchanging. I see the levels of care needs escalating. Older adults stay home if family support allows. Cost of senior communities continues to elevate, eliminating many people from the ability to afford it. I think staffing will continue to be an issue; cross training will be an essential part of onboarding new hires. Slowing down caregiver burnout will need to be a huge focus.

If someone is considering a career in senior living management, I would tell them I love my career. If this is the industry you are considering, shadow a manager for a few days and talk to mentors in the field. You must love people and wanting to add value to the lives of the residents you serve is mission critical. The other very big responsibility is growing your team, continuously providing experiences for next level opportunities.

Arrow Senior Living and I invite you to reach out and learn more about a career in senior living. Working in this industry can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Whether you’re interested in caregiving, management, or another aspect of senior living, there are a wide variety of roles available that allow you to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults and their families.

PrairieStone Senior Living is a comprehensive community soon to be offering independent living plus, assisted living, and memory care, accompanied by an array of services and floor plan options. Our amenities include restaurant dining, outdoor and private dining, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, a salon and barber, transportation services, a patio and firepit, and more. Our community extends beyond our campus, providing residents with the opportunity to explore the local downtown area, featuring charming shops and restaurants. Nature enthusiasts can visit the picturesque George Wyth State Park for nature walks and birdwatching or enjoy the stunning scenery along the Cedar River. Cultural events and festivals, such as the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival and Sturgis Falls Celebration, offer even more opportunities for engagement. PrairieStone residents have convenient access to a wealth of adventures and activities, both within and outside the community.

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