A Day in the Life: Finding the future stars of LTC

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A Day in the Life: Finding the future stars of LTC
A Day in the Life: Finding the future stars of LTC
Jana Headrick likes to snag them when they're young — future long-term care professionals, that is.

As the director of wellness at the continuing care retirement facility at Inverness Retirement Village in Tulsa, OK, Headrick oversees an internship program aimed at sparking an interest in senior living among college students.

Headrick, who is 34, has a degree in health promotion and has worked as an exercise physiologist. She has partnered with local colleges to recruit students into her 12-week internship program during which she mentors would-be physical and occupational therapists, physicians, nurses and other health and wellness candidates.

Headrick says many students, even though they are pursuing careers in healthcare, overlook specialties in geriatrics.

“They don't know it's an option. I like to open their eyes to see what's available to them,” Headrick says. “Getting them on our campus makes a hugh impact.”

The distasteful notion that aging is a downward spiral into poor health doesn't last long once they get to Inverness, Headrick says.

“I think what they take away the most is that they understand the value that our residents have. They see them as an asset, as a resource, as still able to contribute and to society and as having a zest for life.”

It's a mindset that can never start too young.