|Ever get the feeling that you’ve been spinning your wheels professionally, that your career has bogged down in today’s long-term care woes of red tape, regulation, and wretched reimbursement? Key executives at some highly successful long-term care companies have determined that these sentiments are all too common in the field. They say it’s time for a change.|
Say hello to AIM: The Society of Senior Living Professionals.
“AIM” was chosen as the Society’s one-word summary of its commitment to be an organization for professionals, like yourself, that will support your aim in defining and achieving career aspirations. A blue-ribbon board of directors from long-term care’s top echelon (see sidebar) has formed under the leadership of Dwayne Clark, president/CEO of -egis Assisted Living, and David Peete, president of Assisted Living University, to launch a society that will offer its members many benefits, including a unique, multiformat career-development program. It combines on-the-job training, advanced education, private consulting, and personalized career mapping for ambitious administrators, nurses, and sales/marketing personnel across the long-term care continuum (skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living, hospice, and home healthcare). Additional membership programs are available for other professionals ranging from caregivers to corporate-level staff.
According to -egis’s Clark, a basic inspiration for the program has been the growth in respect and acceptance for customer-centered best practices in successful companies outside long-term care-the Nordstroms, Starbucks, Disneys, and Ritz-Carltons of the world-and the readiness of long-term care to follow suit.
“These businesses have changed the way consumers are served. Now is the time to bring the philosophy and approaches of these innovative companies to senior living,” adds Clark.
There is no question that long-term care has evolved in recent years into a multilevel continuum, and more than a few managers in the field are ripe either for lateral transfers or for advancement to senior executive positions encompassing more of the levels. These concepts are driving a program that will bring members access to:
- self-study online courses and live work-shops, seminars, and teleconferences on such topics as leadership models, developments in gerontology, and business management. Course content is pegged at different management levels-executive director, administrator, advanced administrator, and regional vice-president. Those pursuing advanced degrees will be eligible to receive scholarships amounting to thousands of dollars for online master’s degree training from such institutions as the University of Southern California, George Mason University, and other universities.
- personal career assessments using such standardized self-assessment tests as the Myers-Briggs, as well as career counseling and coaching from a panel of top-rated consultants in the field.
- special newsletters and other publications focusing on long-term care management.
“None of the Society’s programs are intended to compete with existing trade associations,” notes Assisted Living University’s Peete. “Our focus is exclusively on the individual seeking professional development. AIM’s focus on leadership career development will buttress the industry information and issue briefing that associations provide. You can’t have a great industry without a commitment to the development of management staff. This is the next much-needed step in professionalizing long-term care.”