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The Emotional Toll of Caregiving in Senior Living

Yes, I am the CEO and founder of Phoenix Senior Living, but above all I am a father, husband, son, and grandson. My earliest memories, long before Phoenix Senior Living became a reality, were of family and it continues to be the foundation of my life. Over the years, as I developed my professional life path through education and experience, which of course led to Phoenix, I have never lost sight of the valuable lessons we can and should learn along our life path. They so often can shape us in enduring ways that help us look at the world with more seeing eyes.  

Having been in the Senior Living business for many years, I have always known that it takes a very special heart to serve seniors; not just providing care but caring for and about seniors. I also know that is not something you can train – you can’t teach people to care, truly care. That is a trait an associate must bring to the job and for many people, this is not the industry for them. Caring for and about seniors is not just what we do, it is our passion. It is why we all get up and go to work every day.

Recently, I lost my grandmother who resided in a Phoenix Senior Living community. This was a very special lady in my life and like all families who experience a loss like that, it is hard to explain the overwhelming grief and sadness one experiences.  However, being on the customer side of the experience, although I have always believed it to be true, I experienced firsthand, our associates become not only an important part of our resident’s lives, they become part of the family. The team who had cared for my Grandmother for some time, shared in our sadness and grief. Their emotions were raw and real. They had lost someone they cared for and about. I was struck by the reality, our associates, who often care for residents for a long time, experience loss and sadness every time they lose these residents they have cared for and loved for some time.  

 

As I said earlier, life lessons are so valuable. Yes, I have always known it takes a special heart to truly serve in senior living, what I hadn’t given enough thought to was the emotional toll this business can take on our associates. They experience loss of a beloved senior quite often and again, having lived the experience with those who cared for my Grandmother, I will never forget the emotional toll our business has on our teams and I will be eternally grateful for the caring hearts of the Phoenix teams. When it comes to your loved one it all matters and it matters to us. I witnessed it myself.