The staff makes all the difference at a senior living community

The staff makes all the difference at a senior living community

Courtesy Spectrum Properties, North Dallas LIVING WELL Magazine

When looking at your options for senior living, it’s always important to look at the amenities, the location and the price, but most people forget the most vital service. It’s one that cannot be copied, marketed or researched on the internet. The single most essential aspect of any community is the staff.

I screen and interview many individuals throughout the year who are interested in working at a  retirement community. My goal is to differentiate between the people who really want to work in the senior industry from those who think they might be good at it. In my experience, it’s a calling, one that is difficult to describe. The successful retirement community prides itself on hiring people who are passionate about seniors and who set out to make a difference every day. This goal becomes the cornerstone of the culture at the community; take care of the residents as if they are family. It’s that simple.

So, what does this mean to the residents of a retirement community? The transition after a move is a challenging time for everyone.  When the community emphasizes meeting the emotional needs of the residents and addressing their needs as they would a family member, residents adapt to the new environment quickly.  I recently spoke to a daughter of a resident whose mother just moved to a retirement community. She said that she had shopped around and explored many options before making her decision. She and her mother made their final choice because of a feeling they got when touring the community and interacting with the staff. Everyone was friendly, genuine and stopped to visit with the residents. Most importantly, the staff made her mom feel comfortable and really listened to her needs, picking out an apartment next to someone they knew with whom she would become instant friends. She made the final choice because of the people, the staff, and the general feeling that at this community, the residents are treated as individuals and the entire staff is passionate about what they do.If I figured out how to bottle that feeling and market it, I would. To find the best option in senior living, do your homework and schedule a visit to the community to see for yourself the difference that the people can make.

Emily Valentino, HR director for Spectrum Properties, LTD can be reached at 214-379-8610 or