When Staci Beranek was five or six years old, she visited her great-grandmother at an assisted living facility and the experience left a permanent impression. It helped inspire her to pursue a career caring for seniors, and she has now been a caregiver for almost seven years.
As a CNA (certified nursing assistant) and TMA (trained medical aid) at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm, Minnesota, Beranek loves getting residents up in the morning, making sure their day goes well and becoming part of their family. Beranek originally thought she would become a nurse, but enjoyed the connection she had with residents as a CNA.
“It’s hard to get old—and you realize that more when you work in this field,” says Beranek. “You have to have a lot of compassion and patience. You have to be inviting and warm and respect their home.”
One challenge of her profession is staffing, says Beranek. “Staffing is a huge issue. It’s hard when we are understaffed and also trying to make sure we are taking care of residents in the best way.”
After the 2015 senior care reforms implemented by the Minnesota legislature, Beranek received a pay increase which she appreciated.