It's Not a Job. It's a Calling.

Being a house manager at an assisted living facility isn’t easy, but in caregiver Sharon Ford’s words, “It’s not a job; it’s a calling. It’s not just coworkers and residents; it’s family.”

She loves what she does and believes that with Manchester she’s going places. Whether it’s through the relationships she forms with residents or the skills she acquires in the process, Sharon has devoted her life to the industry and more specifically her Manchester Place family.

“When I look at each resident, I look at him or her as though they are my mother, sister, or even myself,” Sharon said. “I think of them as I would my own father or brother.”

The Call to Caregiving

For anyone working in senior care, there’s almost always a story and for many, a calling which drives them to work long and often emotionally and physically taxing hours. Sharon’s inspiration is her mother, who lived in a nursing home and experienced a traumatic injury from which she never recuperated. Sharon’s mother had suffered from poor care and Sharon recognized that something had to be done to ensure that other peoples’ loved ones would be treated with the care she wished her mother had received. It was Sharon’s mother who first recognized what Sharon’s calling was and told her to follow it.

“My mom asked me on her deathbed, ‘Why don’t you do what God has called you to do?’ I knew then that I had to fight for those lives, for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.”

When Trouble Strikes, Team Unites

Every senior care facility has high risk individuals, because with age comes health complications, which makes places like Manchester necessary. Risk factors for the elderly include muscle weakness, poor balance, blood pressure fluctuations, poor or slowed reflexes, foot problems, and more. A strong team is a necessity for an environment like this. Manchester treats its employees like family and encourages an atmosphere of mutual respect and caring, much like a real family.

“Through trials and tribulations, we stick together for our residents,” Sharon said. “We’re together in this. Just like I wouldn’t leave my resident to fend for themselves, I wouldn’t leave my teammate behind in a difficult moment.”

This bond produces positive results for residents and staff, as it makes for a safe, secure and positive environment.

Another Day, Another Lesson.

Every day is different for those who are older. That means, every day is different for caregivers as well. The key, Sharon said, is to take things one step at a time and adopt your own method of coping and problem solving.

“When I find myself in a difficult situation, I do what my supervisor Erin always does: I take a deep breath, follow the steps I was given and go with the flow,” Sharon said. “I have to be flexible and move forward regardless. Bottom line, I can’t anticipate whether or not one day will be better than another, but I can always adjust my attitude and make the best of whatever kind of day I’m faced with.”

Sharon has had to deal with a lot of emergencies, Erin said, which is normal with this age group who have health conditions. Keeping your composure when you’re facing stressful situations is hard, but our team copes, comes together, and grows together in the process. In the end, we get through it as family.

A Caregiver’s Reward

Here at Manchester, our goal is to help our residents maintain the best possible health and live connected, joyful lives. Sharon and her team play an integral role in ensuring we can attain that goal. Sharon recognizes that what she does is far more than just a job; it’s a calling.