I never imagined working in long-term care. While in school preparing to become a nurse practitioner, I imagined being a hospital diabetes specialist like my mentor, or managing chronic health conditions as part of an internal medicine practice, helping to keep people out of the hospital.
Then I accepted a job at Croasdaile Village, a continuing care retirement community, where most of my patients are in their 80s and 90s. Whether they experience good health or poor, their long lives do not always prepare them for the stage of frailty or the ravages of dementia. It is satisfying to me to help our residents and their family members see where they are in life’s trajectory, and to help them make plans for what may lie ahead.
Because we are a community, plans do not always involve pills or a medical work-up. Encouraging family members to draw closer - and depending on our amazing team of care professionals to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support - is usually a large part of the plan. What I love about long-term care is the opportunity to accompany our residents in their life journeys, to enable them to feel supported and loved.