6 Myths of Working in Independent Senior Living

in Independent Living

Written by PARC Retirement Living

Spoiler alert: It’s nothing like working in a care home. Active living residences like PARC operate more like independent, community-style apartment living than health care facilities.

We’ve seen many prospective employees come in with misconceptions about working in the senior living sector. So much so that even our Owner & Chairman, Rainer Muller mentions it in a special Q & A session with him earlier this year.

The myths likely persist because the full range of senior accommodations — from active retirement living communities like PARC, where independent living means more focus on healthy lifestyles and enjoying the retirement years, to long-term care, which is more health-care oriented — is rarely represented in media. Most people picture only the long-term care model when they think of senior living.

Instead, imagine retirement residences that are like living in an active, vibrant apartment environment for older adults. That’s PARC. When new employees come on board and start working in our White Rock, West Vancouver, North Vancouver or Burnaby residences, they quickly realize that there’s a wide variety of rich and fulfilling career opportunities here in retirement living. There’s also a whole lot of fun and self-fulfillment to be had in working with us every day.

Let’s dispel some of the most common myths we’ve encountered about working in senior living.

PARC Senior Activities

Myth 1: It’s a slow-paced environment

Reality: Retirement residences like PARC are very busy places, where the emphasis is on enriching and fun activities.

Our residents live independently. They’re active and eager to experience all that retirement living has to offer — from cooking and painting classes to wine tastings and local excursions. Our Active Living team organizes daily activities, so there is never a dull moment on site. If you like to be busy at work, and to interact with interesting and engaged people, this might just be the right environment for you. The days go by quickly!

Chef Josef of PARC Living

Myth 2: The food is bad

Reality: We serve the kind of food you’d find in a five-star restaurant.

From delectable three-course meals that rival the offerings in BC’s top restaurants, to casual options for quick and flavourful fuel-ups, we put customized care into our menus and all of our meals, ensuring our residents get more than just nutrition. And, bonus: all team members that work in our residences are entitled to our freshly prepared daily meals at a discounted rate.

Our chefs are Red Seal-certified and come to PARC with experience in local and international hotels and restaurants. Take a look at how Mulberry Residence chef Gabe de los Santos describes working at PARC as the best career move he’s ever made.

PARC Dinner Entertainment

Myth 3: I won’t be able to relate to anyone

Reality: Our residents and team members come from diverse backgrounds and represent a multitude of ages. And they’re all interesting and lovely people to interact with everyday.

At PARC, diversity is part of our fundamental values. Our team and resident population include people of different ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and religions. We appreciate one another and all that we bring to this vibrant community. Our residents are curious and engaged, and appreciate spending time getting to know our employees, many of whom have been with PARC for over a decade! There are many opportunities for great conversations and long-lasting friendships.

PARC Residents enjoying a board game

Myth 4: The residents will need my help with their daily activities

Reality: Our residents are independent and don’t require much help with their daily activities.

PARC residents are able to live independently, and have chosen community living for all of the lifestyle benefits it offers — from built-in social connections to health and wellness support and the safety and peace of mind that comes with a thoughtfully designed and staffed community.

Our employees are here to provide exceptional resident experiences, and the result is fulfilling for all.

Oceana PARC exterior image

Myth 5: It will feel like working in a care home

Reality: Our environment is more like an active living apartment community than a care home.

Our residences resemble a resort-style community, and are designed and built to high standards, with most of our buildings emphasizing Leed certified environmental standards, sustainability and the best in comfort. Whether urban or seaside, our residences all offer unique and elegant lifestyle amenities such as theatres, music rooms, wine rooms, patios, games rooms, libraries, fitness gyms and garden spaces. Most recently, our Oceana PARC residence took the top prize in the SHN Awards for Independent Living design.

We do have a Wellness Nurse on-site, but the rest of our team has roles similar to those you would find in hospitality.

Chef Gabe of PARC

Myth 6: It’s a dead-end, minimum wage job

Reality: PARC offers plenty of opportunities for long-term career growth.

PARC is the perfect place to work if career growth is something you’re looking for. We offer all of our employees opportunities to gain skills and experience not only in their direct area, but also through cross-training in other departments. We offer front-line staff the chance to move into corporate services and management. And with our new properties opening in Victoria and Kelowna, we’ll soon have opportunities for travel and relocation, too.

Throughout the pandemic, PARC has offered stable and secure employment as an essential service provider. We’re also a Certified Living Wage Employer, with a competitive compensation package that includes employee benefits for regularly scheduled part-time and full-time employees, as well as discretionary bonuses.

Working at PARC provides stability and is endlessly rewarding. The good news is, the opportunities to join us are growing!

Take a look at our Careers page to learn more about our current openings.