Sometimes I am asked about the aspects of my job that keep me up at night. These days, it’s a challenge that I’m confident leaves many of my colleagues awake, too: Maintaining and growing a talented workforce.
That’s not easy, for a myriad of unique and interconnected factors. Recruitment, in general, is facing a broad challenge – the overall healthcare field is wanting, not just aging services. Whether we’re looking for someone on our dining staff or a skilled-care nurse, this is both a macro and micro hurdle for our industry.
Let’s face it, we’re getting older. Not just as individuals, but the country as a whole. Because both men and women are living longer due to healthier lifestyles and advancements in medicine and technology, America’s population of older adults is experiencing unprecedented growth, and the need for affordable housing for older adults is nearing epic proportions.
Regardless of our race, culture, or gender, aging is something we all share. Yet despite our commonality, prejudices toward older adults are rampant. Ageism, or the discrimination against people because of their age, is nothing new. In fact, as far back as the 1st century A.D., Roman philosopher Seneca observed “Senectus morbidus est,” or “Old age is a disease.”
My name is Steve Fleming, and I’m president and CEO of The Well•Spring Group, a multi-modal aging services provider based in Greensboro, N.C., Well•Spring serves more than 1,000 older adults, from those who are enjoying an active, independent lifestyle to those needing high-quality, community-based, long-term care.
I’m enjoying my 17th year at the helm of Well•Spring, and my 31st year serving older adults.