Joel Nelson, the maintenance supervisor for a sheltered care facility in Princeton, IL, has worked in maintenance capacities for 35 years. But that hardly prepared him for one particular resident’s arrangement.

“We had one resident whose room was kind of a hunter’s theme room and he was always having us put more pictures of his hunting and fishing trips on the wall,” Nelson recalls. “He had a mounted boar’s head on the wall, several mounted fish that he had caught and other animals he had hunted.”

Turning a patient’s room into Wild Kingdom isn’t in a day’s work in most eldercare facilities, but it’s in line with Nelson’s attitude about his job. If something needs his touch, it gets it.

“We go the extra mile to accommodate residents, more so than other facilities would. We really try to accommodate the uniqueness of each individual, and respect their individuality,” Nelson says.

Nelson supervises a maintenance staff of five, oversees all of the laundry and housekeeping, physical plant operations and more.

Greenfield is a sheltered care facility—a step between skilled nursing and assisted living—with 44 beds and 17 assisted living apartments. It can easily seem like more with so much to do.

A pleased resident or family member makes his job worth it. “It’s gratifying to have them thank you for something you don’t expect.”