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7 Things to Do to Become a Leader in Your Senior Living Community


Team members are the heart of any senior living community. After all, it is the staff who are working long hours, taking the time to create meaningful relationships with residents, and contributing to a culture that puts seniors first. However, not all staff members are going to give their very best every single day during every single interaction. Bad days and other circumstances can make even the best staff members feel less than motivated sometimes.

It takes a leader to inspire and encourage staff members to give their all every day and with every resident. If you are ready to become the leader your senior care community needs, here are seven ways to get started.

1. Lead from Where You Are

You don’t have to be an administrator or executive director to be a leader. In fact, you can make just as big a difference as a leader who works as a caregiver, housekeeper, cook, or other line staff member. In any position, you can choose to be a leader and inspire your peers to be their best.

2. Learn Something New

Ongoing education is an excellent way to become a better leader in your senior living community. Volunteer to take additional training off-site and don’t miss an in-service training. The more you learn, the more information you can pass along to those who work beside you.

3. Volunteer for a Committee

Most senior living communities have committees that make decisions and create plans to provide better care. Fall risk committees, quality control committees, and even staff relations committees are multidisciplinary and typically looking for additional staff volunteers. Talk to your supervisor and express your interest in becoming part of a committee. Then, when you are in meetings, listen and learn from other perspectives while contributing your own feedback.

4. Stay Humble

Even if you have worked in your role for years, there is always something new to learn. Choose to remain humble, taking feedback without being defensive and asking for help when you need it. 

5. Work on Your Empathy

The residents you serve are going through a lot of challenges, transitions, and changes. Their family members are as well. The more you can put yourself into their shoes, the better you will be able to meet them where they are and communicate more effectively. Ask many questions, listen intently, and develop a plan with their input.

6. Ask for Feedback

Your yearly evaluations are a good time to talk to your supervisor about your leadership ambitions and your growth opportunities. However, you shouldn’t be asking for feedback only once per year. Instead, talk to your supervisor and peers regularly about how you can best learn from them and represent your agency well. You can even ask for a mentor, or someone who has been with the organization for a long time and who holds a position to which you aspire.

7. Put the Resident First

Person-centered care is more than just a senior living industry best practice right now. When you make decisions based on residents’ preferences and unique qualities, you can be confident you are making the best choices in each situation. Residents, family members, and your supervisors will notice your dedication to those you serve.

Are you ready to explore leadership opportunities that are designed to help you grow in your role? The Arbor Company is dedicated to growing our future leaders from right inside our own organization. Become a part of our Talent Network and discover what leadership opportunities are waiting for you.

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