Alun has worked in the senior living industry for over 15 years in Oklahoma and Texas, after working a dozen years in the airline industry. Alun has a passion for training and compliance and quickly became an industry expert, teaching classes and speaking at conventions.
In the episode, Alun discusses his work in teaching and HR, as well as his background in the airline industry and how he transferred his skills into senior living.
First, Alun talks about Morada Senior Living before going in-depth about his background and how he moved into senior care.
We learn about Alun’s experience hearing the stories of residents and getting to know them and how much this meant to him.
A large part of the episode involves Alun talking about ‘thoughtful recruitment strategy’ when hiring new employees. He explains that he tries to keep a waitlist of applicants to ensure the company is always hiring the right people for Morada Senior Living.
Toward the end of the episode, Alun discusses the importance of employee relations and retention.
Learn how Alun Skitt, executive director at Morada Senior Living, transferred his skills from the airline industry to senior care by tuning into the latest episode of the LTC Heroes podcast.
Rapid Fire Q/A
Do you have any uncommon hobbies that you love?
Well, I have three kids. The twins are 10. Their older sister is 11.
So my most unusual hobby for the last 11 years has been laundry.
What’s the biggest change you’ve witnessed in long-term care?
The biggest change is probably the level of care that we’re providing in assisted living. Fifteen years ago, a lot of the residents could drive and manage their medications.
It was more of a social move, which is now transferred into independent living, and assisted living is taking on a higher level of care.
Do you have any memories going back to that first day or first week in long-term care when you went to those buildings, and you started working?
From a people perspective, it was easy to come in and lose myself. I’d lose time just sitting down and talking with one of the residents. I’d learn more about what they went through in their life, what they did as a profession, and what their spouses did.
It was great learning. But one of the funny things is how outspoken they were about their opinions and their criticisms. They would critique the outfits of people passing by and think they’re talking in a quiet voice.
After about two weeks, one lady I was working with came to me and brought a picture of herself when she was 25. And she brought a picture of her on her wedding day and a picture of her family.
I learned that it didn’t take much to make that kind of connection to where they were comfortable enough to share their stories and that we have a lot to learn from them.
Are there things that didn’t translate from your HR experience in travel into HR in long-term care?
In the airline world, if anybody was late to their shift three times, they were automatically terminated. And so that level of management of your frontline employees didn’t translate well into this world because the type of employee is different.
Life happens. I had to learn that I needed to be forgiving if somebody didn’t show up by six o’clock, but they were there at six o’ five.
What were the things that did translate well?
What did translate well for me was my poker face when hard situations arose. If you’re working at a gate and you’re about to cancel a flight, you can’t freak out. You have to act like you’re in control, and you have to work the process.
It’s kind of the same thing here. If something doesn’t go as planned, you can’t emote erratically. You have to remain calm and believe everything’s going to work out in the end, it’s just how you get there.
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