Do I move into a senior living community rather than age in place at home? Where do I begin my search? What amenities and services do I need? How do I find a community that prioritizes my well-being and safety? These are questions older adults ponder when thinking about their future. Over the past 60 years, Sequoia Living’s reputation of providing the best environments for aging has attracted some of the most loyal and experienced staff, including Calvin (Cal) Groeneweg, Vice President of Risk Management and Clinical Services.
“I sort of just fell into senior living and I love it,” says Cal, a Certified Professional in Aging Services Risk Management (CPASRM) and a Registered Nurse (RN) with more than 30 years of clinical and administrative experience.
Earlier this year, Cal was honored as “Risk Manager of the Year” by Caring Communities. The award recognizes Cal’s leadership, dedication, and compassion while overseeing the safety of residents and staff throughout Sequoia Living.
Cal is in charge of the risk management program, along with the clinical services offered at four Bay Area Life Plan Communities. The risk management department is responsible for investigating, finding solutions, and implementing change when a fall or injury occurs.
Cal’s Early Years
Cal began his career as a RN working for a hospital in the ICU and open heart units. He knows the importance of reviewing medical records properly and has overseen numerous senior communities. He brings his expansive background to Sequoia Living, and each day focuses on creating and maintaining a safe working and living environment for residents and staff.
“Ten years ago, I was recruited by [Sequoia Living] because of my background in operations and my experience as a licensed administrator and a registered nurse. I know the ins and outs of running an organization.”
Experienced in the Field of Aging
Although retirement communities are everywhere, all are not created equally. Sequoia Living’s team of experienced and skilled staff are a cut above. From skilled nursing, long-term care and short-term rehabilitation to assisted living and memory care, Sequoia Living accommodates a continuum of care beyond independent living.
Skilled certified and registered nursing staff provide a wide range of vital support services to our residents. A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) may assist residents with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, dressing, and lifting and helping residents in or out of bed. In contrast, a RN may oversee medication management, help residents create a wellness program or may also regularly correspond with a resident’s family members.
With Cal’s efforts spearheading programs and partnerships, Sequoia Living is proactively seeking its next generation of talented and dedicated care staff.
The New Careers Program
Since January 2020, 400,000 nursing home and assisted living staff have exited the field. Exacerbating the situation, “during the pandemic, we saw many CNA programs shut down,” says Cal. “We developed our own CNA training program.”
The new program will begin fall 2022 with 40 students. Each student will be hired on as a paid Sequoia Living employee while attending the program. Once students complete training and successfully pass the California CNA license exam, they will be encouraged to apply to open positions at one of four Sequoia Living Life Plan Communities throughout the Bay Area.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health and personal care aides are the fastest growing career sector, projected to grow 33 percent in the next decade, much faster than all occupations. But there still simply aren’t enough workers to fill the demand.
The Next Generation
The program will provide training for the next generation of skilled nursing staff, along with offering professional development opportunities and career advancement to promote within.
As more and more care staff are retiring after a long career in the field, Sequoia Living’s initiative to train the next generation of nursing assistants furthers its efforts to provide safe and healthy communities. Cal’s risk management team aids in creating a culture that prioritizes safety and quality of care for those who live and work at Sequoia Living communities.
Sequoia Living began a partnership in 2021 with the College of Nursing at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. “Through this program, nursing students fulfill clinical training in our communities, helping them gain hands-on experience,” says Groeneweg. Sequoia Living provides a training environment that also gives students an opportunity to join the team once they are licensed.
Groeneweg adds, “Sequoia Living has a culture of longevity, with people working for 25 to 35 years. Now, many are getting close to retirement. We have to be able to fill those openings with talented nurses and CNAs so we can provide the best care possible to our residents.”
To learn more about careers at Sequoia Living, visit www.sequoialiving.org/careers