Careers In Aging

Careers In Aging Week

April 17-23, 2022​

CIAW_logo.png​​The demand for professionals with expertise in long term care is growing rapidly. The U.S. will need between 5.7 million and 6.5 million nurses, nurse aides, home health, and personal care workers to care for the 27 million Americans who will require long term care by 2050.​

Careers in Aging Week is dedicated to bringing greater awareness and visibility to the wide-ranging career opportunities in long term care and aging services, and to celebrate current employees in the profession.

Join us in celebrating and spreading the word about careers in aging on social media using the hashtag #CareersInAging.

Be sure to check out our resources on this page and check back for stories from our health care heroes.

A Career in Long Term Care: What to Expect



Careers in Aging: Mary Watkins, Director of Nursing in Aging: Mary Watkins, Director of Nursing4/19/2022 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Mary%20Watkins%20(3).jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:225px;" />Mary has worked at Wolfe County Health and Rehabilitation Center for 29 years, starting in 1993. She began as a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked at the facility as she finished the Registered Nurse program at Lees College in Jackson, KY. At Wolfe County, she has held many positions, including Charge Nurse, Unit Supervisor, Clinical Coordinator, MDS Coordinator, and currently Director of Nursing. She has dedicated most of her life to caring for the elder population. Due to COVID-19 and the lack of well staff at times she volunteered to work as a charge nurse and nurse aide to care for her facility’s residents.</div><div> <br></div><div>Mary has always been a strong advocate for her resident’s overall well-being, making sure all their needs are met not just physically but also mentally and spiritually. She has been a friend to many residents over the years bringing them fun items that they would not have normally received otherwise such as special candy, clothes, perfume, yarn, puzzles, books, and lotions. Over the years, she made sure residents received Christmas and birthday presents when they did not have family to buy special gifts for them. She makes it a point to become familiar with the residents’ personal choices. She has always been a strong advocate for person-centered care and consistent care assignments. Mary makes her residents feel as though they are loved and gives them her total attention. She encourages them to be as independent as possible. Residents and families have witnessed her strong compassion and empathy. She has a way of calming and reassuring families and residents when they are making the tough decision to place their loved one into the nursing facility. <br></div><div><br></div><div>Mary has worked tirelessly to manage the nursing department during the pandemic, sacrificing many long hours of personal time to ensure adequate staffing. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when the facility was shut down to visitors, she had her pastor come and pray for the facility’s residents and staff. She also helps elder individuals in her community that may call on her for assistance as it relates to their help concerns. She often takes food to her church elders, helps them manage their medication, and give them sound spiritual and medical advice. <br></div><div><br></div><div>Prior to becoming a nurse, Mary owned a small grocery store. Even then she showed her compassion, love, and generosity toward others. Her compassion towards long term care has encouraged others to enter the field. Many have referred to her as an Angel on this Earth!</div><div>Mary is a mother of two, and Nan of 5 grandchildren plus a bonus grandchild. She has dedicated her life for the service of others. It takes individuals like Mary who possess a life-long dedication and compassion for the elderly population to truly make a difference in their lives. The residents and staff genuinely treasure her. She is a tremendous positive influence and has a way of bringing out the best in people. She goes above and beyond in her volunteer work in the community and her facility. Mary has gone above and beyond in the field of elder care for almost 30 years.<br></div><div><br></div>AHCA/NCAL highlights Mary Watkins for Careers in Aging Week.
Careers in Aging: Amanda Woods, Activities Director in Aging: Amanda Woods, Activities Director4/19/2022 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Amanda%20Woods%20(7).jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:125px;height:248px;" />Amanda has spent her whole career in the health care community, working as a CNA for more than 11 years to an Activities Director for going on six years. “My heart is in this world fully,” Amanda said. Amanda loves and cares for every resident she works with, and strives to make their days a little brighter and bring their families a little closer every day. <br></div><div><br></div><div>Amanda finds joy in making the little things that residents appreciate happen. “I find that remembering small details they like in their day to day lives is very important. If they like 3 tissues in their pocket or their hair parted to the left. These are the things that make me happy to take care of them.” </div><div><br></div><div>“Taking care of someone else's loved one is one of the most rewarding and hardest jobs there is. I am grateful every day that I got chosen to be one of those people,” Amanda said.<br><br></div><p>​<br></p>AHCA/NCAL highlights Amanda Woods for Careers in Aging Week.
Careers in Aging: Kazar Lewis, LPN, Unit Manager in Aging: Kazar Lewis, LPN, Unit Manager4/18/2022 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/kazar%20(9).jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:267px;" />Kazar has always had a passion for taking care of others. Kazar's grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and she took care of her until she passed away. Kazar started her career in long term care as an aide, and worked her way through nursing school. <br></div><div><br></div><div>“I love being able to help people and make them smile especially when they are at their lowest. I enjoy making people feel special.”<br></div><div><br></div><div>“You have to have a heart and compassion. I love it. Just to be there for people when they don’t have anyone else. It is a life changing career.”<br></div>AHCA/NCAL highlights Kazar Lewis for Careers in Aging Week.
Careers in Aging: Amy Malkin, Chief Operating Officer in Aging: Amy Malkin, Chief Operating Officer4/17/2022 4:00:00 AM<div><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Amy%20Malkin%20(2).jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:239px;height:239px;" />​Amy started her career in long term care in 1991 as a dietary assistant in a skilled nursing facility. She was quickly promoted to the cook position, after receiving on-the-job training. Amy was then taught how to do nutritional charting and was promoted to a dietary manager. Soon after, she was asked to take over management of ancillary departments, such as housekeeping, laundry, and activities. Each department Amy worked in, she learned on-the-job how they work which allowed her to be a good support system for the department employees moving forward. Eventually, Amy was promoted to the Chief Operating Officer of a health care group that operates skilled nursing, assisted living and home health. <br></div><div><br></div><div>“I feel my story can be inspiring. Throughout all of this, I have never received any formal education. I have no university or college degree. I was able to learn on the job and be promoted from within,” Amy said.</div><div><br></div><div>Amy now serves on the Arizona Health Care Association Board of Directors, and on AHCA/NCAL’s committees and Future Leaders Program. </div><div><br></div><div>“The most rewarding part for me is when I get the opportunity to see employees grow professionally, and when you can help a resident and/or their family members. Family members will often come up to me in the community and thank me for the care provided to their family member, long after the family member has been discharged from our center,” Amy said.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Amy is a quintessential example of the growth opportunities that careers in aging present.<br></div><div><br></div>AHCA/NCAL highlights Amy Malkin for Careers in Aging Week.
Careers in Aging: Jerry Keller, Maintenance Technician,-Plant-Operations.aspxCareers in Aging: Jerry Keller, Maintenance Technician4/22/2021 4:00:00 AM<div>​​<img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/JKellerPicture.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:194px;height:293px;" />After working at Lucy Corr through a painting contractor for over 2 years, Jerry Keller joined the Plant Operations team in April 2018. Responsible for all wall repair, painting and woodwork, Jerry heads up many projects for the facility's nurses station, front lobby in the Health Care Center, and bathrooms in the front of the Health Care Center. <span style="font-size:11pt;">Jerry also helps with important tasks, like installing window blinds, renovation of the cottages and apartments, and replacing floor tiles. The aesthetic and functionality of the facility all have Jerry's magic touch, and his work is so critical to keeping Lucy Corr looking pristine every day. </span></div><div><br></div>Responsible for all wall repair, painting and woodwork, Jerry heads up many projects for the facility's nurses station, front lobby in the Health Care Center, and bathrooms in the front of the Health Care Center.
Careers in Aging: Jenae Briggs, Admissions Clinical Coordinator in Aging: Jenae Briggs, Admissions Clinical Coordinator4/22/2021 4:00:00 AM<p>​<br></p><div><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/JBriggsPicture.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:301px;" />Jenae has been with Lucy Corr for two and a half years, and has worked in healthcare with a specification in skilled and long term care for 9 years. Obtaining her Bachelors Degree in Human Services and Masters Degree in Public Administration, Jenae started her long term care journey as a social worker and admissions director. Jenae has a passion for helping those in times of need and assisting patients and families in the turning chapters of the later years of their life. </div><div><br></div><div>“There is something about being able to care for those that need assistance and walking them through the steps that are most crucial in their later years of life that brings joy to my heart. Allowing them to know I am there for them very step of the way in such a monumental part of their lives is liberating and humbling all at the same time. Every patient or family you are able to help, it brings a wholeness to who you are and what you are compassionate about. I believe you can help yourself best, in any situation, by helping others.” <br></div><div><br></div><div>In her “down time,” Jenae spends her time with her husband chasing around their two children, a 5 and 3 year old little boy and girl. Jenae is an active member and advocate in the autism community. She loves to write and blog on various topics such as creating awareness for children with disabilities, grief, and inspiration. Jenae enjoys a good cup of coffee, making anyone smile, helping people in all chapters of life, and most of all watching her kids grow. </div><p><br><br></p>Jenae has a passion for helping those in times of need and assisting patients and families in the turning chapters of the later years of their life.
This Week is Careers in Aging Week!!.aspxThis Week is Careers in Aging Week!4/20/2021 4:00:00 AM<div>​Careers in Aging Week (CIAW) is underway! Along with the Gerontological Society of America, Argentum, and LeadingAge, we will be spreading the word about careers in aging and celebrating our member’s current employees. From activities director to chef to infection preventionist, we’re highlighting the dedicated heroes who care for our seniors every day. Join us in promoting these rewarding careers on social media using the hashtag <strong>#CareersinAging</strong>, retweeting us on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitte​r</a> or sharing our posts on <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. And be sure to check out our <a href="/Workforce-and-Career/Pages/Careers-In-Aging.aspx" target="_blank">Careers in Aging Week webpage</a> for resources and stories of our health care heroes. </div><div><br></div><div>We hope you’ll join us in celebrating and promoting the amazing careers in long term care this week.</div><div><br><br></div><p>​</p>Careers in Aging Week (CIAW) is underway! Along with the Gerontological Society of America, Argentum, and LeadingAge, we will be spreading the word about careers in aging and celebrating our member’s current employees.
Careers in Aging: Holly Witkemper, Executive Director,-Executive-Director.aspxCareers in Aging: Holly Witkemper, Executive Director4/15/2021 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Holly%20Witkemper.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:177px;height:266px;" />Holly started out her career as a young teenager volunteering at DCMH hospital on the Continuing Care floor with her Grandma. She went on to a local nursing home and was an Activity Assistant.  From there, she took the Lacy Beyl course and became an Activity Director.  After many years, she worked her way up and took more courses and became a Social Service Director. After several years she then became the Admissions Director.</div><div><br></div><div>She then completed the Administrator in Training program and from there she took the test and became the Executive Director. <span style="font-size:11pt;">Holly has a great understanding of the inner workings of the facility as she has worked in most every management position, and even as a bus driver.</span></div><div><br></div><div>Holly jumps in wherever she is needed and her dedication to her residents throughout the years and during the pandemic has been extraordinary. <br></div><div><br></div>Holly started out as a young teenager volunteering at DCMH hospital on the Continuing Care floor with her Grandma.