Associate Spotlight - Nurse's Care Spans Generations
During her nearly 25-year career, Lisa Costello has cared for young or old – literally, one or the other. Her “clients” have been either too young for kindergarten or well into retirement.
After working in a day-care setting for about seven years, Lisa became a licensed practical nurse, LPN, and has since spent the last 19 years caring for seniors at Benchmark’s The Village at Kensington Place.
Although the two professions differ, Lisa said there is a common thread that makes both jobs so special: Staff members get to know the entire family of those they care for each day.
“I think of them as my family,” she says.
It was Lisa’s brother, Michael, who suggested that she make a career change. He is a nurse at Hartford Hospital and thought the career change would benefit her personally and financially. With his encouragement, she enrolled at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain, Connecticut and became an LPN.
“He felt I’d be good with seniors,” she recalled, but he also knew the certification would allow her to work only one job. “Day care just wasn’t paying the bills.”
Lisa, 51, has been married for 20 years and has a daughter, Avery. Thanks to her career change, she has been able to spend more time with them.
As the Community Blossomed
When Lisa first started working with seniors, the Village was owned by another company and there were about 30 residents in both the traditional and memory care units. Today, as part of the Benchmark family, the community has more than doubled that number of residents.
Dave Primini, executive director of the Village at Kensington Place, is pleased that Lisa has stayed on and enjoyed the ride.
“Lisa is very well respected by residents, families and peers,” said Dave. “She works very hard, looks the part, and acts the part. She leads by example every single day.” He added that she volunteers for numerous committees, including the safety committee.
Lisa says she enjoys building connections with the residents and their families. She said she gets so much professional and personal satisfaction in brightening their days.
“It doesn’t take much to keep them happy,” she said. Simply bringing in some cookies, sitting down for a short conversation or providing a needed item, like a new hairbrush, can make a huge difference in a person’s day.
“I really view the residents as my grandparents,” Lisa said. And she’s not alone. She said the associates at the Village care deeply about the people who live and work there.
“It’s really a good community and staff,” Lisa said. “It makes a big difference when you’re coming to work.”