What Led You to a Career in Assisted Living?

Assisted Living is responsible for more than 68,000 jobs in California, and positions cover a wide range of disciplines, including nursing, business, and marketing. So, with such a variety of opportunities, how do you know if a career in Assisted Living is right for you?

Careers in Assisted LivingEarlier this year, a panel of Assisted Living executives met with a group of SFSU students during Careers in Aging Week. The three panelists shared the history of their respective career paths; their stories prove that, no matter where you start, if you have a passion for senior care, Assisted Living may be the perfect fit.

Tom Berry, Executive Director, The Carlisle

While studying Political Science at George Washington University and interning on Capitol Hill for Sen. Tom Daschle, it became very apparent to me that the aging of America would be the biggest challenge my generation would face. I wanted to work on the front lines directly with seniors so I could make a meaningful contribution. My grandmother also lived in Assisted Living, and I knew firsthand the challenges families were going through as caregivers for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

Sylvia Chu, General Manager, Aegis of San Francisco

I graduated from UC Berkeley as a Social Sciences major and, after many years in the hotel business, I saw many colleagues leave the industry for a career in Assisted Living. They all told me that I would enjoy the service-oriented focus. I vividly remember my first day. I had little or no interaction with my own grandparents, so when I looked upon the faces of the residents, I instantly felt that I had a second chance. I am so privileged to share residents’ lives on a daily basis, as my own life has certainly been enriched well beyond words.

Ali Christensen, RN, Assisted Living Director, Vintage Coventry

I knew at the age of 12 that I wanted to be a nurse one day. Through various volunteer experiences at an Assisted Living community near my home, I fell in love with working with the geriatric population. After high school and during nursing school, I held various jobs which included managing a restaurant and working as a caregiver in Assisted Living, and then eventually as a nurse at a skilled nursing facility. Shortly after moving to San Francisco in 2011, i began searching for a Registered Nursing position in the geriatric field. I was lucky enough to have landed at Vintage Coventry.

Are you inspired by these stories and ready to explore your career options in Assisted Living? Discounted student registration and scholarship opportunities for CALA’s Fall Conference & Trade Show are now open. The Fall Conference & Trade Show runs from October 21-23 at the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage. Scholarships cover conference registration for three days, including educational sessions, entry to special events, and up to two meals per day. Students can register at the discounted rate for any or all of the three-day conference. Register or apply today, and we’ll see you in Rancho Mirage!


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