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What’s Love Got to Do with Senior Care?


Whenever I visit a Benchmark community, I can feel “it” the moment I step through the door. I’m talking about the kind of love co-workers show for each other. Benchmark talks a lot about being one company of compassionate associates where there’s a willingness Stephanie Handelsonto assist, guide, teach and involve fellow associates. It’s one of our PERSONAL values.

But what’s love got to do with it?

“Love” is not a word you often hear at most companies. And yet, it has a strong influence on workplace outcomes. The more love co-workers feel at work, the more engaged they are. It may not surprise you and me who know Benchmark so well, but few companies have that magic. That’s too bad.

Recently I came across a research study on this topic. It found that when people work in a place where they can express affection, tenderness, caring, and compassion for one another, they are more satisfied with their jobs, committed to the organization, and accountable for their performance. So, love = happier workplace.

But there’s something else that happens in a caring and supportive workplace. You also get better customer outcomes. According to the study, which took place in a long-term care setting, better outcomes means improved resident mood, quality of life, satisfaction and fewer trips to the ER.

If that sounds like Benchmark, that’s no accident. We are all about creating a workplace that supports associates with love and care. When associates are engaged at work, residents are happier too. That sounds great to me!

Some of the greatest companies create cultures with care at the center. Whole Foods Market has a set of management principles that begin with “Love” and PepsiCo lists “caring” as its first guiding principle on its website. Zappos talks about caring as part of its values: “We are more than a team though…we are a family. We watch out for each other, care for each other and go above and beyond for each other.”

So, the next time someone asks you what’s love got to do with senior care, you can tell them all about it. It matters more than most people think!

Stephanie Handelson
President and COO, Benchmark Senior Living 

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Jayne Sallerson is a warm, enthusiastic and compassionate executive with a heart for working with seniors. Jayne has been in senior care for more than 20 years and she says, “I still love what I do.” At Benchmark Senior Living, Jayne now serves as Executive Vice President. A native of New England, Jayne loves to travel, meet new people, and hang out with her favorite pug, Henry.
Jayne started this blog as a way to share the many questions she and her team get every day with other people looking for answers.