2019 SCHA Awards
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Position: Director of Sales
Organization: Sunrise Senior Living
List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
Jessica started her career 18 years ago at new Orange Hills and is now at Sunrise Senior Living in Huntington Beach for the past nine years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Gerontology and an R.C.F.E. license.
Jessica loves helping families find the perfect option for the loved ones needs.
Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
Gerontology was always a passion of Jessica’s throughout her professional and personal career. The start of it came from her relationship with her grandfather. He was diagnosed with advanced Parkinson’s. He had a bad fall, broke his hip and proceeded with the care of a rehabilitation facility in Orange. She visited often, and assisted him with small tasks and kept him company, bringing joy to his day. She said, “If being present and keeping him occupied brought this much happiness, I wanted to do the same for others.” Jessica decided to inquire about working there and this is what started her career and passion in the field of Gerontology.
Fast forward 17 years in the senior care field, she has been loyal to her company at Sunrise Senior living for almost 10 years. Recently, she shared an experience with a resident who moved in because of a specific advanced form of Parkinson’s. This really hit home for her as it brought up memories of her grandfather, and she had a true soft spot for this specific type of diagnosis. She did everything in her power to advocate and assist with this transition from a private home to a high acuity care community. It was very difficult for the family and posed some challenges for the staff, as well. He was difficult to understand, unfortunately overlooked due to his involuntary movements, and had a difficult time expressing his needs. Being such an advocate, she trained the staff specifically on Parkinson’s, its characteristics, behaviors, and background information to educate the staff on how to approach and care for this gentleman in particular. The family was beyond grateful and thankful as they had a difficult time accepting the change, accepting the transition and was fearful they would not find a community that could provide the level of care he needed. The gentleman is now thriving in his new home, and because of Jessica’s patience and attention, everyone involved has a peace and satisfaction.
Helping others trust the process of change, transition and having faith that it works out is what Jessica does best, and she has the gratitude of many.