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March 3 - 9 is National Careers in Aging Week. We're celebrating by spotlighting a few of our employees in a variety of positions. Learn what's rewarding about working in this industry from their perspective.
Panorama employee for 5 years
When I applied for work at Panorama, I had worked most of my career in auto parts retail.
I was looking for a change, a place where I could stay until retirement. I started in the Grounds Department but soon after my supervisor helped me transfer to Maintenance. After about a year of working general maintenance, I was put in the position of overseeing maintenance services for Assisted Living in the Quinault Building.
In my role, I manage the inventory of parts and supplies for the department but I also spend a lot of time with residents, responding to work order requests for issues in their home, such as burnt-out light bulbs or plumbing issues. I also conduct a variety of preventative procedures, ensuring their doors are up to fire code standards, their fridge and freezer are operating at the right temps, their carbon monoxide detectors are working, etc. I even get to help new residents hang pictures on the wall when they first move in. I enjoy how talkative they are while I’m working on something in their home. Tasks are hardly ever just “in and out”. Which is something that’s really nice about this job and this environment. We’re not in a rush. We are given enough time to do the job right and interact with the resident, spending a few extra minutes just listening to them and conversing back. It makes the job rewarding. Everyone is so friendly, happy and laughing. They like to talk about their families and the campus activities they enjoy. The majority of residents in Assisted Living do exercise and balance classes and they like to tell me about how it’s going. They seem to notice it helps. They also like to know what’s going on in my life, and it’s evident that they truly care. Getting to see the same customers every day and connect with them brings back the feeling I had growing up in a small town. Everybody seems to know my name, which is so amazing!
What would I tell someone considering a career in aging services? It’s hard to know what to expect when you’ve never worked with seniors but they’re probably the easiest kind of people to work around. The experiences they’ve had in life have taught them what’s important and what doesn’t matter. They’re a very caring generation. You feel good every day because people appreciate what you do. Just hearing their thankfulness when you do something for them is instant gratification.
I really enjoy the strong feeling of community here at Panorama and I wish I would have started sooner. I could retire now if I wanted to but I’m staying on longer just because I enjoy it.