Senior care locations are experiencing high demand as seen by Elk River based Guardian Angels Senior Services. Baby boomers are searching out Assisted Living centers and other senior housing locations by touring aging in place companies organizations with many of the same concerns they did when taking their children to college campus visits. How good is the quality of service, safety, available programs and classes, and most importantly, what is the overall environment like? In other words, how will my parent be treated?
When touring a Guarding Angels (GA) location, it’s apparent that one voice leads the way for every employee, and that is the call to serve others. As a faith-based company, it’s easy to expect the staff will be kind and concerned. It’s another thing to experience how much each one gives of their self to make a difference each and every day to the residents. Kari McHenry, Director of Marketing for Guardian Angles Angels, put it this way. “We have a wonderful staff! They have a lot of heart and really care about our seniors and their families.” That is the essence of the staff at Guardian Angels.
One of the main reasons people seeking care for their parents, can rest assured is those providing the care are the best of the best! Barb Zachman, a certified nursing assistant Nursing Assistant Registered (NAR) with 15 years of service with Guardian Angels, talks about her career of serving seniors. Like many, it began when she was young. “It started when I was in high school. I worked at nursing homes and I liked to take care of those who needed help.” When asked about working at GA, Zachman said “We are like family here. We share stories, have fun and truly care about each other.”
Jan Down, Angels On Main, an Adult Day Services Assistant, has 17 years with GA, and answers from the heart about her time with seniors. “I feel it is a privilege to be with our seniors. Enjoy their stories and the wisdom they impart. I am truly blessed.”
The in-house staff at GA covers every part of the services they offer. Tana Forner,a Dietary Manager at GA Senior Housing, explains her position. “Providing a meal and offering a variety, I know I’m providing a worthwhile service. Every day I enjoy my job!” Time and again, those who work at GA express their love of the work they do and the joy they feel in helping others.
Becoming a part of the lives they serve has benefits for both worker and resident. Darlene Nickols, an activities assistant Adult Day Services Assistant has been involved with GA for 19 years. What keeps her coming back? “Making a difference in a senior’s life,” she said. “Listening to stories of the seniors and laughing and crying with them.”
Sharon Zochman Zachman, Adult Day Services Assistant, let’s us know straight away what she feels is special about working at GA. “A lot of laughs, nice people, good times, ever changing, love, smiles,” she said. She shared that “My care makes a difference, and the smiles are heartwarming.”
It’s a repetitive statement any adult child would love to hear when looking for senior housing or any of the services GA provides, for a parent.
In its 51st year, GA is certainly doing business with the highest of standards in place. Wendy Dollansky, a Nursing Assistant Registered (NAR), with GA Care Center has been serving seniors for 23 years. Her reflections are a template for many of the staff. As a volunteer at age 14 in the senior unit of a hospital, Dollansky found that she enjoyed visiting with people and hearing their stories.”
Like many other GA staff, she felt she was meant to work in this field. “I can’t imagine working anywhere else.” Part of the rewards of working with seniors at GA, “I have so many fond memories of residents and staff,” she said. Leah Mau, with four and a half years as a Resident Assistant at GA By The Lake, is following in the footsteps of GA veterans. Initially drawn to senior care as a way to help those in their daily lives, she talked about why she enjoys working at GA. “Being able to help care and assist each resident to make sure they have a happy life. When my shift is over I feel proud in the way I have been a positive part of somebody’s day.”
Tour a GA facility and you’ll feel the difference their employees make for their residents, their extended family. When asked about what makes the staff so special, McHenry replied, “We care for seniors, we love serving.” There’s a big difference these days between customer service and serving your customers. GA serves daily, with the biggest hearts in the Elk River community!