At Primrose Retirement Communities (parent company of Sweetwater Retirement Community), we have the privilege of serving residents across the country with luxury apartment homes and amenities that allow them to stay social, happy, and active in their communities.

We also want them to live on their schedules without worrying about maintenance or other household responsibilities that keep them from pursuing their passions.

Of course, we know that the impact of our care goes beyond the physical. It also allows us to build trust and meaningful relationships with residents and their families. 

As a result, our residents trust us to support and guide them as they make important decisions that affect the next chapter of their lives. It’s an honor and a responsibility we take seriously.

So, when people ask us if working in assisted living is worth it? Of course, the answer is always yes! But sometimes, it helps to hear it from the people who live and breathe our mission daily. Those who work closely with our residents to build meaningful connections and lifelong friendships.

Deb Quick, sales director at Primrose in Grand Island, NE

Meet Deb Quick,

Sales Director at Grand Island, NE

Our very own Deb Quick shares her experience working in assisted living and how her role at Primrose has been her true calling all along.

Before you joined Primrose, what did you do for a living?

Deb: I was a stay-at-home mom until 1997. I then became a banker for almost two decades. One of my main responsibilities was helping older clients manage their financial investments and savings. 

After that, I began working at a hospice care community for one year until I eventually transitioned to working in senior living/assisted living as a marketing/sales director.

What have all these experiences taught you?

Deb: Each job has allowed me to grow and understand the many unique obstacles seniors go through financially, physically, and emotionally. For example, one of the most challenging aspects of moving into a retirement community is costs:

How will I afford this? 

What if my needs change? 

Will my investments be enough?

Working as a banker who helped seniors understand how to plan and manage their retirement savings has allowed me to alleviate many of these concerns and build trust with future and current residents.

As you can imagine, working in hospice can be physically and emotionally challenging. But it can also be rewarding! My position enabled me to work closely with residents and their families and get to know them on a personal level. I learned a lot about relationship building and how I can be a blessing to someone struggling with guilt or uncertainty.

I see now that God kept placing me in positions where I was building relationships—both professionally and personally. 

An example would be when I cared for my uncle in my home for 3 years. My uncle needed support with daily activities. This period of my life helped me see what families go through. It gave me a much clearer understanding of how to help them, as I have been in their shoes and know the heartache, guilt, and other emotions that come with it. 

As a result, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum and believe that my skills and past experiences allow me to perform my responsibilities with greater compassion and empathy, all while building trust. 

So it’s easy to see that everything in my life happened for a reason. 

What are a few unexpected rewards of working in assisted living?

Deb: Working with residents and families is such a passion of mine. I mentioned being a blessing to someone struggling with feelings of guilt. Well, when adult children are looking to Mom or Dad (or both) into assisted living, guilt is the most common theme I often hear.

Some children live out of state, so they only talk to their parents on the phone or see them during the holidays. They assume everything is fine because Mom and Dad say everything is “okay,” but when they visit, they immediately notice differences in their behaviors or living environments.

Hoarding, poor nutrition, and staying indoors all day are just a few behaviors that cause concern.

For an adult child, it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions. There’s often anger that your parents didn’t tell you they were struggling and guilt for not seeing something wrong earlier. 

As mentioned, being out of state can also make you feel like your situation is hopeless. But that’s where my Primrose team and I can help.

Our goal is to guide you and your loved ones through these difficult situations and help them find the best home. 

At Primrose, my purpose is to fill their vessels and show them there is a solution. We will get your mom or dad what they need, so you can rest easy knowing your loved one is cared for, and you can get back to being their son or daughter again.

What is one challenge of working in assisted living?

Deb: You have to be flexible. Sure, you may have a calendar filled with “to-do’s,” but don’t expect you’ll get them all completed. Every day is different, and part of working in assisted living is being present for our residents. 

That means if they stop in to ask a question or I receive a call from someone thinking about moving, they need me, and I need to be there for them.

They’re counting on me to be their guide. It’s an honor and a privilege, and I don’t intend to disappoint them. This is where my passion plays a significant role in my career.

I’ve always had a heart for loving people and helping people. It’s just part of my nature, even when I was a little girl. And when you show your true love and compassion, people trust you.

So, is a career in assisted living worth it?

Deb: To me, working at Primrose has been my calling. In this job, your degree is not important. But your compassion for serving others and your passion for loving others is. 

You can’t fake it. You either have it or you don’t, which is why you’ll see so many team members with the same qualities. They are here to serve and positively impact the lives of our residents. Like I said, it’s just who we are.

My residents trust me with their futures, and their families count on my team and me to provide a safe, happy, and healthy environment where their parents can thrive.

It’s a job I take seriously, but it’s also my purpose. I feel at home here and want every resident to feel the same the moment they arrive.

What’s Your Passion?

We appreciate Deb sharing her story of what it’s really like working in assisted living. We’ll continue to share more stories from staff and residents and provide resources, so you get a better picture of what life is like at Sweetwater.

If you’d like to start a rewarding career in assisted living, you can visit our careers page for information. 

And if you’d like to make Sweetwater your home, please get in touch with us to learn more about our assisted living apartment homes!