HuffPo to America’s Youth: Senior Living Industry Wants You

A career in the senior living industry is not something many young people aspire to, but considering the rapidly expanding older population and the potential that creates, maybe it should be on more youths’ radars, writes the Huffington Post

Senior housing is a $40 billion industry that is growing rapidly in need, scale, and employment opportunities, and it will continue to do so over the next several decades as the U.S. population ages.

These are not the stereotypical “old folks’ homes” of yesteryear. Skilled nursing facilities still abound, of course, but the greatest growth–and the most dynamic revolution–is taking place in retirement and assisted living communities. These are thriving, active, lively places of business that are also fun, rewarding places to work. To be successful, these communities require a broad range of skills in full- and part-time positions, and not just nursing and care coordinators.

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For the right person, the industry offers strong wages, top-notch benefits, a warm, supportive working atmosphere, and consistently high levels of job satisfaction. Young people bring their own unique brand of good medicine to seniors. Residents feed off of youthful enthusiasm and energy and enjoy hearing modern-day, coming-of-age stories just as they enjoy relating their own remembrances and dispensing nuggets of advice to a young person facing a challenge in their personal or professional life.

Senior living administrators truly want–and need–to hire teens and new college graduates. Not everyone needs to be on a career track to work at an assisted living or retirement community. These can also be wonderful, safe, nurturing places for that first-ever job. Along the way, young people gain experience in working with the older generation and pick up the kind of hard and soft skills that are in demand and can be illustrated on resumes and college applications.

The writer lists three ways for young people to get involved at an entry level, including doing meal preparation or joining a dining room wait staff at a senior living community, helping out with senior activities, or working as a night-time concierge who answers phones and resident inquiries. 

Although current interest rates may be low, more university students are starting to look into pursuing a career in senior living, with some colleges offering senior housing-specific courses on topics such as management and administration.

Read the full piece at the Huffington Post

Written by Alyssa Gerace