Our Employees Share What Makes Working in Senior Services So Special

After he moved out of the home they shared and into Westview Senior Care Center, a resident honored his wife’s memory by wearing her ashes around his neck.

Recently, the chain for those ashes broke. In a normal year, his family could have stepped in to help, but with a yearlong COVID-19 lockdown, the members of the man’s care team were the ones who stepped in -- as they have for physical and emotional needs throughout the pandemic.

Vina Johnson, CNA, bought the new chain, knowing how much it means to the resident. Those kinds of personal interactions are the best parts of working in Senior Services, Vina said.

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“I feel like with what I do, I’ve accomplished something. When I’m here, I’m really helping someone,” she said.

“You really get to know residents,” Vina added. “They become your family, like your own grandparents. You just want to do your best by them.”

The heart of the experience of working at Benefis Senior Services is the relationship staff members form with residents. It’s a position that requires skill, creative thinking, and compassion.

The Westview staff brings joy to the residents, said Susan Altona, RN.

“We become part of their family; they become part of our family,” she said. “We’re the people who talk to them when they’re down. We’re the ones who try to make them happy and take care of them.”

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In memory care at Eastview Senior Care Center, Nemo Scott, a medication aide II, really gets to know long-term patients.

“If we can make our residents smile, we know we’ve had a good day,” she said.

Caring for shorter-term residents also offers a reward – helping them strive toward getting back home again, Nemo said.

Jill Harvie, RN, is known for her upbeat attitude and the loving care she gives to residents in Eastview Senior Care Center.

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“You get attached to these people. You’re their family, with them every day. I love the residents, and I learn from them every day,” she said. “It’s a rich and rewarding experience.”

Travis Loney, RN, works at The Grandview at Benefis and appreciates the ambiance of the beautiful facility, as well as his co-workers, the doctors, and especially the patients.

“We have them for an average of 21 days, and you get to see the transition from them at their worst to as good as they can be and headed back home,” he said.

His colleague, Crystal Sanford, CNA, called working at Grandview both fun and educational.

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“You learn about their lives, their history,” she said. “You get to have a better bond with them.”

She works in the Cottages, which offers skilled nursing care for seniors. The Grandview also has memory care and assisted living options – with compassionate nursing from skilled caregivers.

“We’re a team, and we work together,” Crystal said.