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A Career Built with Love – Finding Family in Senior Living

male staff member, Sequoia Living career, maintenance manager

Ask anyone who lives at Sequoia Living what makes the biggest difference in their daily living experience, and you will get the same answer: our people. Attracting the very best people with a passion to serve has always been our top priority. 

When residents move into a Sequoia Life Plan Community, they are not only making friends with fellow residents; they are building life-long relationships with staff. Many team members have been with their community for a decade or more. Aziz Chakib is one of them.

Aziz is Sequoia Living San Francisco’s maintenance manager, a job that requires a variety of skills and responsibilities to keep the community clean, accessible, and in top shape to support our residents’ active lives.

Whether speaking with his colleagues or with residents, Aziz exudes warmth and personal integrity, qualities that reach out and connect him instantly to those around him. This is especially true with our residents.

A strong relationship with residents and a passion to serve. 

Aziz has celebrated over twenty years in his community. During that time, he has developed strong friendships. He considers many of the residents and their loved ones part of his extended family. Aziz was a young man when he came to America from Morocco, where he had planned to become an attorney. While his legal future wasn’t meant to be, he found his calling in senior living. Although it was just a job at first, his mind quickly changed when he realized the benefits he received working with older adults.

The relationships with the residents were built gradually, often while fixing an electrical issue or TV in residents’ apartments. At first, it was just a quick “hello,” “thank you,” and “goodbye” from residents. Slowly but surely, the relationships grew. “A conversation begins with ‘Where are you from?’ and goes from there,” Aziz explains. “The relationships became stronger and stronger. We would see each other downstairs and say, ‘How are you doing?’ That’s how we began to learn more about each other’s lives.”

“This is where I belong.”

It is hard for anyone to work at Sequoia Living for over twenty years and not have stories to tell, especially for someone who has forged as many relationships as Aziz. 

One of his favorites involved a resident whose husband was hard of hearing. Aziz was frequently in their apartment, fixing the wiring, jacks, and adapters for his hearing aid. He would listen to them chat about their children, whom he eventually got to know. Later, when this resident took over running the gift shop, Aziz would help her carry items back and forth into the shop. She would smile with a wink and tell customers, “He’s my son.” Those words meant the world to Aziz, who missed his own family back in Morocco. 

COVID brought enormous challenges, but Aziz was up to them. Residents noticed.

With COVID came a new set of health regulations and safety requirements. They directly impacted maintenance, which brought added challenges for Aziz along with his team. Aziz held steady, taking the time to understand and embrace the new protocols, many of which remain in effect today. 

A resident survey tells the story of the great job Aziz did. The highest performance ranking the residents gave was for the COVID response and how well Aziz and the team supported their health needs. It was a direct reflection of how they responded to a dynamic and unprecedented situation. 

The great benefits and positive environment have kept employees at The Sequoias for years. 

Many of Aziz’s team members have been at The Sequoias for ten to fifteen years and more. “The Sequoias provide great benefits and job security,” Aziz says. This has created a more positive and connected environment with fellow employees and, most importantly, with residents. 

“The benefits offered here are the best, so workers want to stay,” Aziz says. “But the daily experiences make you closer to the residents. And that’s why we’re here.”

Do you know someone who has a passion to serve and would like to join our team? We invite them to visit our careers page.

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