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April 14, 2023

The Vitalia Active Adult Community – Solon Executive Director Shares How She Got Her Start in Senior Living

Category: Senior Living

Author: Lisa Ford, 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 Vitalia Active Adult Community – Solon team. I would like to share a little about my journey to becoming a senior living leader.

In 1999, I was working in the hospitality industry. Out of college 14 years with a background in social services, I was looking for something with better hours than a bar manager. I happened passed some new construction in Vermillion, OH, The Inn at Chappel Creek. I thought it was a new lakefront inn. They were hiring for customer service, so I went in and applied, only to find out it was the first assisted living community to open in the area and they were looking for business development. I quickly bonded with the Director and was hired on the spot. A few months later she left, and the owners appointed me Executive Director and 24 years later, here I am. I literally walked into what would become my career path.

Watching the industry change and morph keeps me in senior living. It is never boring and always challenging. It keeps me on my toes. I also feel the US has never held their elders to the high esteem they deserve, as in other countries. I want to hear their stories of where they have been, what they have seen, and honor that with appreciation, so they know they are still vital with much to offer.

Arrow Senior Living offers a progressive culture, recognizing everyone’s differences. They stay on top of trends and technology and are transparent and honest in all communication.

COVID has changed the industry drastically. I believe we will see the slow demise of the skilled nursing facilities with assisted living care becoming more acute and specialized. Independent living will be attractive to the many boomers moving into the demographic. This group will be more demanding and have higher expectations, but also without the pensions they once received, creating challenges in being able to afford such care.

I would tell someone considering a career in senior living management to make sure you are in it for the right reason. The pay is fair, but the work is hard, with both gains and losses. You need to be malleable to all the changes as they come. If you listen to those you care for you will be highly rewarded.

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.

VITALIA® Solon in Solon, OH offers senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include The Lake Effect Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located just southwest of Hwy 77 and 480 just moments from Ahuja medical with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Signature of Solon, Uptown Solon, Cleveland Metro Parks, Rollhouse Solon, and Chagrin Falls Shopping District.

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