Flu Prevention Tips for Senior Living Staff


Radiant Voices: Luz, Caregiver
Flu Prevention Tips for Senior Living Staff

Posted on 08Nov

Come autumn, and through winter each year, senior living staff aim to prevent flu at work. Flu can spread easily if it comes into a senior living community (or any style of a residential living community) and residents over 65 are at high risk for flu-related complications.

Preventing flu in senior living communities is best achieved as a group effort. Staff should get flu shots, learn about the flu, stop germs from spreading, and live healthy lifestyles.

Prevent Flu at Work in Senior Living

Before flu season, senior living staff should commit to preventing flu together.  Prepare by having a plan if flu comes; know if and when flu shots are available to employees; and ensure several people know how to do a job if a staff member gets the flu and needs their shift covered.

Get A Flu Shot

The best way to prevent flu in senior living is for staff and residents to get an annual flu shot. Those who wish to get a flu shot should consult their medical professionals and disclose their allergies to them. Those with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome should not get the flu shot.

Typically, flu is strongest in December, January, and February in the United States, but it can come earlier. Staff should ideally get the flu shot in late September or early October, but it is never too late to get vaccinated. It takes two weeks for a flu shot to become fully effective.

Preventing the flu goes beyond just getting the shot. Stop illness from coming and spreading by learning about it and knowing how to combat it.

Five Flu Facts

A great line of defense against flu is being educated about it. Know what flu is and how it spreads to help prevent it.

  • What is the flu? The flu is a contagious respiratory illness brought on by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Types A and B, and their sub-types are responsible for annual epidemics.
  • How does flu spread? Flu is believed to spread through tiny droplets when people with a flu cough, sneeze, or talk. The droplets can transfer to mouths or noses of those within six feet. They can also reach a surface and live there for two hours or more that a person may touch and transfer to their mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • If a person catches flu, how long is it between exposure and infection? The time between flu exposure and infection is often two days, but can be one to four.
  • How long is a person with flu contagious? Those with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness starts, and they can pass it on before or while knowing they are sick.
  • Who is most at risk for flu-related complications? Those who are 65 or older, young children, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions like asthma or heart disease are higher at risk for complications related to flu.

Five Ways to Prevent Germ Spreading

To preventing senior living communities from flu, employees need to practice good personal-hygiene and self-care at work and home. There are many recommended germ-spreading prevention practices.

  • Avoid close contact with others if sick. If an employee is sick and can stay home, they should do so, especially if they have a fever or a cough. If caring for a senior who is ill, staff should wear gloves or a face mask to avoid germ transfer. Staff should still be attentive and caring while helping those with the flu.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Staff members and residents should have access to tissues, and use them as needed. Used tissues should go straight into a waste basket. If a tissue is not available, sneezing into the upper sleeve or elbow is better than hands.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for 15 or 20 seconds, several times daily. Definitely wash hands after coughing or sneezing. Sanitize hands to clean them several times daily if water is not available.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth. Though it may require self-reminding, this can prevent flu from spreading.
  • Clean with disinfectant. Use a disinfectant to clean places people touch, like doorknobs, telephones, sink faucets, light and lamp switches, coffee tables, art materials, books, etc. Avoid breathing in chemicals and clean away from others, as breathing in disinfectants can be harmful.

Five Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Living a healthy lifestyle can help with immunity, illness recovery, overall health, and flu prevention.

  • Exercise often. Try to get 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week.
  • Get enough sleep. If under 65, get seven to nine hours of sleep at night.
  • Eat nutritious foods and drink enough fluids. Follow a healthy dietary plan, like the Mediterranean Diet! Have a daily fluid intake of about 15.5 cups (for men) or 11.5 cups (for women).
  • Manage stress. Take care of stress with exercise, writing, deep breathing, and trying to have a positive outlook.
  • Keep medical appointments. Make sure to go to the doctor, dentist, and/or medical specialist, as needed.

Flu prevention in senior living is a multi-part process and it definitely takes a village, but a prepared team can be successful! Try out these tips for keeping staff and residents as healthy as possible through the fall and winter seasons.

As a part of a series on the people who choose to work in senior living, we are sharing our full interviews with those senior living employees that have been featured on the RadiantVoices Instagram feed. Follow along on Instagram to see more stories from Senior Living team members.

My Senior Living Story - Celene, Business Office Manager | RadiantCareers.com

Meet Celene! Celene is the Business Office Manager at Sweetbriar Villa, an Assisted and Memory Care community in Springfield, Oregon. Celene has worked in senior living for over 19 years.

My Senior Living Story – Business Office Manager

What was your first job in senior living?

“Housekeeping in our memory care unit.”

What is one moment in your career that made you realize that you are doing something that you truly loved?

“I don’t know that there was one defining moment. But, definitely when the people I was working with started getting to know me and smiling when I came to help them.”

What stands out to you about working at Sweetbriar Villa?

“I love because it’s so small and I get to know the residents really well. And the staff really well.”

If someone were looking to work in senior living, what would you say would be the greatest benefit of working in this field?

“The relationships that you get with your residents.”

Radiant Senior Living is a Great Place to Work

Posted on 26Jul


Great Place to Work Institute has honored Radiant Senior Living with certification as a Great Place to Work.

Radiant Senior Living is a Great Place to Work

Radiant Senior Living is a Great Place to Work | RadiantCareers.comThe certification process considered more than 1,000 employee surveys from across Radiant Senior Living’s locations. Great Place to Work, an independent research and consulting firm, evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job. These included employee pride in the organization’s community impact, belief that their work makes a difference, and feeling their work has special meaning. Rankings are based on employees’ experiences, no matter who they are or what they do.

“Our mission at Radiant Senior Living is to create and sustain comfortable, caring environments for those who depend on us. That mission is considered when making each decision we make and with each action we take. Our company culture is built on the notion that our mission does not only apply to our residents and their families but also our staff,” said Jodi Guffee, Owner and Chief Operating Officer of Radiant Senior Living.

Jodi continued, “We are honored that our team members feel that Radiant Senior Living is a Great Place to Work. We will be taking all of the comments shared back to continue the processes that are working and to assess areas of opportunity.”


Highlights from the survey:

  • 91% of employees surveyed shared that their work has special meaning and is not ‘just a job’
  • 87% of employees shared that they feel that they make a difference working at Radiant Senior Living
  • 86% of employees feel that people celebrate special events here
  • 94% of employees feel that there is often or almost always great rewards in working at Radiant Senior Living
  • 84% of employees feel good about the ways Radiant Senior Living contributes to the community

“We applaud Radiant Senior Living for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Kung, of Great Place to Work’s senior care affiliate Activated Insights. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace for high performance.”

Great Place to Work is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Great Place to Work recognizes outstanding workplace cultures and produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” and Great Place to Work Best Workplaces lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small & Medium Companies, industries and, internationally, countries and regions.

Read the survey results and learn more about our company, our perks and programs, our demographics, and more on the Great Place to Work review of Radiant Senior Living.

As a part of a series on the people who choose to work in senior living, we are sharing our full interviews with those senior living employees that have been featured on the RadiantVoices Instagram feed. Follow along on Instagram to see more stories from Senior Living team members.

Meet Matthew, Nurse | RadiantCareers.com

Meet Matt, a Licensed Nurse Practitioner at Farmington Square Assisted & Memory Care in Eugene, Oregon. He has worked in senior living for over nine years.

My Senior Living Story – LPN

You’ve worked in the senior living industry for some time now, how did you come to work at an Assisted and Memory Care?

“I worked in the Skilled Nursing, post-acute setting for a while as a Skilled Manager. I wanted something a little more homey, you know, something a little more resident-focused, so I started looking at jobs at a community. I settled upon Farmington, although, I am sure that Jill [the Executive Director] thought it was weird that I called to interview them first. I had a tour to see what I thought of the place, to see if it was a good fit for myself and for them as well. After meeting with them four or five times, I decided to officially apply and go for the job.”

What has kept you working in senior living? A moment or experience?

“It’s always one of those things. There are no shortage of moments where you get to have a meaningful impact on someone’s life. Whether it’s helping someone after a surgery or helping someone through the end of life process, it is an incredible honor that someone trusts you enough to do that for their loved ones, or to do that for themselves. So, it’s really, it’s an honor to be able to do that for people.”



Interview Preparation: Importance of Company Research
Interview Preparation: First Impressions Checklist

Posted on 24May

This article is the second in a series of articles on Preparing for a Job Interview. Our first post covered the importance of company research in your preparation for a job interview, today we’ll share how to create great first impressions. Check back into the blog for more tips on preparing for a job interview.

Remember that a first impression only takes seconds, and you don’t get a redo. That means, how you present yourself online, look, smell, carry yourself, and speak – as well as what you say and bring to the table – all play a part in the interview process. Read on to learn about how to make a good first impression and to download our First Impressions Checklist.

What does your online first impression look like?

Steal your Interviews with Great First Impressions | Radiant Careers

First impressions can actually happen before you even walk in the door. As we suggested that you check out a potential workplace online, many potential employers are doing a simple check of your online profiles as well. Public profiles and online articles are available for anyone to view and play a part in their first impressions of you as a potential employee.

Note: Employers are still required to follow employment rules such as anti-discrimination laws, background check laws, and off-duty conduct laws. But, it is still wise, to give your public profiles a once-over before applying to jobs.

Be ahead of the game and smart with your social media presence:

  • Make a LinkedIn account and request up to date references from friends and colleagues for your profile. In conjunction with this, make sure that your LinkedIn profile has up to date employment information.
  • Make sure you look professional in all of your social media profile pictures, especially your on your LinkedIn. A smartphone photo is fine, just make sure your attire and posture look professional.
  • Make sure to privatize or delete any pictures or posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blog platforms, online photo albums, and YouTube, that you would not want a prospective employer to see.
  • If you have a blog you are proud of that has to do with the profession in which you are applying make mention of it.

Mastering a Great First Impression Look

While no one wants to suggest you change yourself for a job, each company will have guidelines for appearance based on their industry and standards. Considering those standards before your interview will show potential employers that they will not have issues with you regarding their attire policies. Extra effort in your appearance may also make it appear that you are going to give extra effort on the job. As the saying goes, “Dress for the job you want.”

For appearance, make sure that you are clean and have dry hair that is neat and presentable. Dress appropriately for the interview. If the company at which you are applying has a very relaxed dress code, they may tell you not to show up in sharp interview attire, in which case, business casual is a good bet. But never assume that casual wear will be fine for an interview.

What to Bring to your Interview

Once the look and all that goes with it are good, make sure you bring all the right stuff.  Make sure you have:

  • A professional bag, briefcase or purse
  • Work history information
  • Reference contact information
  • Your personal information
  • Copies of your resume and cover letter
  • A notepad that is nice for an interview
  • A couple of pens for taking notes

Be Genuine, Be Polite

The next areas to focus on for setting a good impression include facial expression and body language. A potential employer wants to know the authentic you, so it’s not a good idea to put on a fake smile, but it is wise to show that you are optimistic, warm, and friendly.

When you arrive for your interview, it should be no less than 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Make sure to check in and let them know that you have arrived. While waiting, you may be tempted to retreat into your phone, but try to resist that. If you see a waiting room book or magazine, that would be a better choice. Remember to have good posture and maintain a pleasant disposition while waiting. If you look bored and/or tired, that doesn’t reflect your readiness. Also, make sure your phone is on silent. An interview is not the time for texting or chatting on the phone.

Make a good impression in your Senior Living interview

Making a good impression at your senior living job interview is similar to any other job interview. Consider what the elderly people in your life may think of your attire and presentation. Perhaps take the time to shadow a position you are interested in and take note of how the team members you feel are doing a great job are conducting themselves. Taking a moment to think about these things will prove fruitful in your overall job search, and make you look like the perfect candidate to join a senior living team.

In all cases, being yourself is absolutely imperative in order to make a great first impression. You want your potential employer to hire YOU and not a version of you that won’t be around a week after hire.

Click the below image to receive your FREE digital download of this article plus our Interview Prep: First Impressions Checklist.

Free Download Interview Preparation Company Research | Radiant Careers

Rewarding Work of Caregiving

Posted on 02May

We asked our caregiver from our Assisted and Memory Care in Salem, Oregon, Farmington Square, to share about her work as a caregiver. Carlynn was awarded the Oregon Health Care Association’s Caregiver of the Year award in 2014. She has worked at Farmington Square for (now) 13 years.

“I’m Carlynn Chewning, I’m a caregiver, and I’ve been a caregiver for 12 years in Salem Farmington Square. And, I’m just making a difference. Because I care for them [our residents], they care for me. They depend on me. They need me, and I feel like I need them too. There are so many things in this world that I could do, but this is what I was meant to do. I love my job, I love what I do. I change life for them. If they’re happy I’ve done something, I’ve made someone happy, I’ve made their day. It’s a good feeling. It’s rewarding in itself, to make someone happy, and it should be for anyone in this world.”

Interview Preparation: Importance of Company Research

Posted on 26Mar

This article is first in a series of articles on Preparing for a Job Interview. Check back in to read more tips for questions to be prepared for in your interview!

On your job hunt, once you’ve managed to secure an interview, you may already feel pretty accomplished. After all, you’ve found a job you feel suits you, completed an application, shared your resume and cover letter, and a potential new employer is interested in speaking further with you. It’s a great position to be in. It’s also the crucial point when preparation could propel you forward into a new position or lack of preparedness could hold you back. To seize the position you seek, there are many ways to indicate to an employer that you are prepared for the interview – and the job.

Prepare for a Job Interview by Conducting Company Research

Prepare for Your Job Interview with Company Research | Radiant CareersPreparing for an interview should start as soon as you are offered one! One way to begin your preparation is to research the company that you are interviewing with and think about what you can offer that company and what you hope to gain from being employed at that company.

If you haven’t already, make sure you look at the company’s website, their mission statement, their “About Us,” and their social media. Know what they do and why they do it and be prepared to tell them why you want to be part of that. Begin compiling questions you have for them about the information they may not offer online, or which you would like them to expand upon. Come up with at least five open-ended questions to ask in your interview.

Questions to Consider Asking in Your Interview:

  • Are there opportunities for advancement?
  • Can you describe your corporate culture?
  • What challenges, if any, is the company facing?
  • What are your plans for growth going forward?
  • How many employees do you have company-wide?
  • Who do you consider your direct competition?
  • What types of skills are you seeking in your ideal candidate for this role?

Note: Use our Interview Prep Free Download to take note of your questions!

Tips for Preparing for your Senior Living Job Interview

Senior Living is similar to other industries in that your interview prep for a senior living job will take many of the same steps as listed above. In addition to the questions you’ve found above, you may consider some industry-specific questions to ask yourself and to consider before taking a job.

Senior Living Specific Questions to Consider Asking in Your Interview:

  • What was your latest state survey score and how did your team address any issues found during the survey process?
  • What would my role be in working with your residents?
  • What specific training or certifications are required to do this job successfully? Is training provided?

Click the below image to receive your FREE digital download of this article plus our Interview Prep: Company Research Worksheet.

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As a part of a series on the people who choose to work in senior living, we are sharing our full interviews with those senior living employees that have been featured on the RadiantVoices Instagram feed. Follow along on Instagram to see more stories from Senior Living team members.

Meet Luz, Caregiver | RadiantCareers.com

Luz is a caregiver at Emerald Gardens Assisted & Memory Care in Woodburn, Oregon. She has been caregiving for ten years.

My Senior Living Story – Caregiver

What made you look into caregiving as a career?

“I just like dealing with the elderly. I have a passion for them. I guess I never had a grandpa or grandma, so that made me choose this route.”

Do you have a moment in the last ten years that you realized that caregiving is for sure something you want to do?

“Yeah! I actually did a couple of years ago. You know you get to a point where you get frustrated at times and I said, ‘Do I really want to keep doing this? Or do I really don’t want to keep doing this?’ and I came to… I really DO want to keep doing this. And, everything changed in me.”

Do you have a favorite resident from over the years?

“I do. I was pregnant with my youngest son. She just loved it that I was pregnant. She cared for me, and up to the day she died, she still remembered my son’s name. I still remember her every day.”

Luz, you’ve been caregiving for ten years now, so you have a lot of great advice to share. If someone were looking for a job and were considering caregiving, what traits do you think they need to have?

“First of all, have patience! Have passion for these elderly people. And, be with a great attitude. There are days that you have to fake it. There are days when things happen out there, but you come in here and you have to be with a positive attitude. You cannot be without a positive attitude because it’ll ruin their day, and you don’t want that.”

Senior Living Jobs
Free Printable Valentine’s for Senior Living Team Members

Posted on 13Feb

Valentine’s Day is upon us and with that comes the opportunity to show the people in our lives that we care! This day doesn’t have to be limited to celebrating with significant others, but it can also be an opportunity to show your co-workers or employees that you appreciate them.

Free Printable Valentines for Senior Living Teams

We’ve created some free printable valentines perfect for your senior living co-workers or team members. Simply click on your favorite design and it will open up to a PDF that you are then able to save to your computer and print as needed. We recommend printing on cardstock weight paper for the best results.

Free Printable Valentines for Caregivers | RadiantCareers.com

Caregivers are a Work of Heart

Show your favorite caregiver (or really any senior living team member) that they special by printing of these “Caregivers are a Work of Heart” valentines. Make the Valentine extra special by attaching it to some markers, paint brushes, or colored pencils!

Free Printable Valentines for Caregivers | RadiantCareers.com

Roses are red, Violets are Blue. Our residents are happy because of YOU!

Share your appreciation with your staff by attaching this cute poem to a rose and handing them out on Valentine’s Day. Then you can know that while roses are red and violets are blue, your staff will be touched by the thoughtfulness in you. (Cheesy, we know!)

Free Printable Valentines for Caregivers | RadiantCareers.com

Winter brings no shiver, with you as a caregiver!

Show a little warmth to your team this Valentine’s Day with this free printable Valentine’s Day gift tag. Add to a blanket, pair of gloves, or mug to make a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift for a caregiver.

Free Printable Valentines for Senior Living Staff | RadiantCareers.com

Free Printable Valentine’s for Senior Living Co-Workers and Staff

While all senior living employees are contributing to the care of their residents, sometimes it is nice to highlight the particular contributions of different senior living jobs. These printable valentines highlight different senior living team member roles such as the Maintenance, Life Enrichment, Nursing, Caregiving, and Dietary teams.

We hope you enjoy these free printable valentines! If you share them with your team we’d love to see pictures. Share with #RadiantValentines on social media.

Working in Senior Living

Posted on 25Jan

We asked some of our team members to share their experience working in Senior Living. Here is what they shared:

Rachael, Community Relation’s Director: “My job doesn’t feel like a job. I feel like I come to work every day and I get paid for doing what I love to do.”

Carlynn, Caregiver: “They depend on me, they need me…and, I feel like I need them too.”

Erika, Food Service Manager: “The thing is to give them the joy, the happiness of the moment, [make them] feel special.”

Misty, Med Aide/ Caregiver: “When I come to work, this is my home away from home. And, you get really attached to the people you take care of. And, what’s important to me is to make sure that they feel that their at home as well.”

Matt, Director of Environmental Services: “We had a resident whose family wasn’t able to make it for his birthday party. It was his 98th birthday party, and he wanted a steak. He wanted to go out for a steak. And we took him to the Outback Steakhouse.”

Erika:  “If they require things I run. If they don’t have it, I make it happen.”

Matt: “When I looked at him, I could see my grandfather in his eyes.”

Misty:  “You sit down with them and you just talk with them about anything. They might be talking about their family, their past, what their future plans are…”

Matt: “You don’t get experiences like that from any other job that I can think of.”

Rachael: “It is very emotional. It is, because you’re going on that journey with the family. And, I am very passionate about what I do.”

Carlynn: There are so many things in this world that I could do. But, this is what I was meant to do.”

Misty: “We are their little family in a way. It makes me feel good to be there for them for that.”

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