How many of us truly love our jobs?
I mean really, genuinely are passionate about the work we do? Well Michelle McKenzie is without a doubt one of those people. Michelle has been the Assisted Living Manager at Collington for over 10 years and has worked at Collington for 16!
Michelle came to Collington when a friend had urged her to apply after she finished school, and she was so well liked by the Director of Nursing that they created a position just for her. Michelle worked in Staff Education for 2 years and then transitioned into an Inspection Control Nurse where she worked for 7 years along with being the Assisted Living Manager.
You might ask what makes Michelle so successful in her roles at Collington and for her the answer is simple, “The residents are like family.” She uses a very hands-on approach, making it a priority to have a personal relationship with each and every resident and their family. “It’s important to study the resident and anticipate their needs. It’s a day to day experience but I know what they might need because I have been with many of them for so long.” She also states that a major part of her job is being flexible. You can never know exactly what to expect each day so it’s important to be ready for anything at any time whether it’s helping with a resident, providing support to other staff members or even family members.
Michelle works closely with dementia patients who have lived incredible lives as scientists and teachers, and she loves any chance she gets to learn from them. Although they may not always remember, she feels extreme pride in knowing she is able to assist them, “the residents can’t always remember but seeing the smile on their face, you know they appreciate you.” She also adjusts her approach when working with Memory Care residents, entering their world rather than trying to make them adjust to our world. Michelle loves any opportunity she gets to bring joy to her patients; she recalls a time when she was able to have one of the residents in Memory Care Facetime her daughter and watched both of their faces light up. The resident instantly recognized her daughter and was elated at the opportunity to see her. It’s little moments like that that make the job worth it for Michelle.
For those thinking about moving into a Life Plan Community, Michelle couldn’t recommend Collington more. “The residents love the staff from the housekeepers to the nurses. We provide excellent care and are dedicated to our resident’s safety,” Michelle says. Most employees at Collington have been there for 15, 20 or even 25 years, and there’s a reason they stay so long, it’s because they truly love and care for the residents. “We provide 24-hour RN services, have various amenities, are in an amazing location and it’s an excellent place to be!”