I started my career working in the Social Service Department at a local hospital in Volusia County. After seven and a half years, I decided to take a hiatus, raise a family, etc. When I finally returned to work, I tried other jobs. I had been out of the workforce for several years when my mother had to be placed in a long-term care facility for rehab. One day, when visiting with her, she stated, “I heard the facility is in need of some good help.” She decided I should apply, and that is how I started my career in short- and long-term care. I have been working in short and long term care for approximately six years now.
Presently, I am a Social Service Director in a 60-bed skilled long-term care facility in the greater Volusia County area. The facility specializes in Dementia /Alzheimer’s care, short-term rehab, and long-term care, which is a large part of our community. I have a great love and passion for working in long-term care. I find it extremely gratifying working with residents and knowing that I may have made a difference in their life. Some residents may just need a kind word, loving smile, a hug, or just a simple gesture of holding their hand to comfort them. Others may be in need of more intense medical care, psychosocial, or behavioral care.
You may experience more behavioral issues in a long-term care setting, but for me it’s rewarding knowing that you might have been instrumental in helping the resident find a resolution to the root cause for the behavior, enabling them to lead a more productive lifestyle.
It is a difficult adjustment for a person to be admitted to a long-term care facility. They feel as though their life has been taken away from them. They need to be surrounded by people who they believe can be trusted. They need time to adjust to their new home and lifestyle. Working in a smaller long-term care facility enables me to get to know and understand the residents’ needs. It also gives me the opportunity to build a special bond/trust with one another. My personal reward for working in long-term care is to know that I have made a difference in someone’s life. My personal goal is for all residents to be loved, respected, cared for, and made to feel safe at all times.