Soon-to-be grads: consider a rewarding career

Graduation from college or high school is fast approaching and if you or someone you know is looking for options for the next phase in life – consider a career in senior care.

First, I would strongly recommend paying a visit to your local long term care facility and better yet consider volunteering there. Facilities have different programs that need the help of volunteers. Call to find out how you can help. Here are some ways:

• Read a book to a small group of people.
• Play bingo with a group of people one afternoon.
• Help with a baking group and make grandma’s favorite sugar cookies. After baking when the cookies are still warm have a fresh cup of coffee and a fresh cookie with the residents who like to visit with people and enjoy company.

This is just a quick sample of ideas – we are always looking for fresh ideas in our professional field and a few volunteer visits will help you find out if senior care is the right fit for you.

Maybe you already know you want to be a professional caregiver and you may be thinking about training to become a Nurse or CNA someday. You can get your CNA certificate and work at the care center. Moving on to nursing school maybe your next step in your life.

I planned to work summers as a CNA to gain the experience needed to help with going to school to become a RN.

But after working as a CNA, I found that was where I should be in my life. I have met so many nice people throughout the years. Families are so very thankful for the staff to be present for their loved ones. Families may thank the staff in many different ways from a hug of thanks for a job well done to a simple card at Christmas time.

I have recently met one young lady first starting out as a CNA. With talking and working with her over time she has become a SUPER co-worker. I feel we have gained a new friendship working together. She has gained so much confidence in herself and in her job. Her smile lights up a resident’s room every time she walks in to a resident’s room. In return, the residents always have a smile for her. She always has positive things to say throughout the day. Our residents pick up on small things and appreciate her being positive. This coworker is willing to step up to the plate, be a team player and help out.

Maybe you, too, can find your calling in senior care as a professional caregiver.

Mike Maday is a Care Manager at Lakeview Methodist Healthcare Center in Fairmont, Minnesota.

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