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April 14, 2023

The Boulevard Senior Living – St. Charles Executive Director Shares How She Got Her Start in Senior Living

Category: Senior Living

Author: Kelly Arnold, Executive Director

Senior living has certainly changed over the past decade. An industry that once provided very little hands-on care has blossomed into a wonderful option for older adults. It now provides varying levels of assistance with residents’ activities of daily living, while arranging many opportunities for socialization and community. I am fortunate to work for Arrow Senior Living leading The Boulevard Senior Living – St. Charles team. I would like to share a little about my journey to becoming a senior living leader.

I started an Occupational Therapy Assistant Program while working at a Montessori school and was adamant to work with children. Throughout the program, I made it clear that I would work in pediatrics. During my clinicals, I observed at a nursing home and an outpatient clinic, and completed full-time clinical rotations in a hospital and pediatric outpatient clinic. After graduation, no pediatric positions were open in the St. Louis area. I was hired to work in a rural nursing home. I was very nervous, didn’t think I would like, and cried a lot at first, because I was very sad for the residents. A long-time Certified Nurse Assistant told me I needed to, “toughen up or I would burn out.” I guess I did because that was 26 years ago.

I truly believe I have been called to work in senior living and to advocate for seniors. It warms my heart to see a resident improve with their daily functions. I am honored to have family members put their trust and faith in me and my team to care for their loved ones. I have lost both of my parents and was fortunate enough to have them with me, where I worked, for their last days. I’ve been on both sides of the senior living world. I can empathize with families who are struggling with the decision regarding placement.

In my 26 years in senior living, I have never worked for a company with whom I align my personal and professional values like Arrow Senior Living. They give me the opportunity to be myself and to advocate for the dignity of the residents. I always feel heard, even if the outcome is not what I wanted or expected. The leaders of Arrow Senior Living want the best for their residents and employees.

The senior living industry honestly feels scary at this moment. I feel there will be a home care shift, especially in the COVID/post Covid era. Families and prospective residents fear another shutdown where they would be unable to see each other. 2020 and the years following, taught the team members of senior living communities across the globe we are family to our residents. In the middle of the shutdown, we had no choice, but the caregivers who remained after such a trying time, learned the importance of social engagement and the detrimental effects of isolation.

I would tell anyone interested in senior living management as a career about the daily rewards that come with such a profession.

Arrow Senior Living and I invite you to reach out and learn more about a career in senior living. Working in this industry can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Whether you’re interested in caregiving, management, or another aspect of senior living, there are a wide variety of roles available that allow you to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults and their families.

The Boulevard Senior Living of Saint Charles in St. Charles, MO offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital St. Charles with convenient access to major shopping centers and clubs, including St. Peters Golf Club, Mid Rivers Mall, Katy Trail, Main Street St. Charles, New Town at St.Charles, and the Streets of St. Charles.

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