Caregiver Stories: Amazing Role Reversal – from Student to Caregiver

We sat down with Autumn Glen caregiver Vanessa to learn more about her relationship with Lynne, her passion for working in senior living, and what it's like to go from having someone as a mentor to being the one providing them with care.

Resident Care Associate, Vanessa, is a valued member of the Autumn Glen community and works as a caregiver to residents. One of those residents she cares for happens to also be one of her first mentors – Autumn Glen resident, Lynne! The two first met back in 2002 while Vanessa was working as a CNA and Lynne was her boss. We sat down with Vanessa to learn more about her relationship with Lynne, her passion for working in senior living, and what it’s like to go from having someone as a mentor to being the one providing them with care.


1. How long have you worked at Autumn Glen?
I’ve worked as a caregiver at Autumn Glen for almost a year.

2. What do you enjoy most about working in senior living?
Definitely the residents, I love them. I also love my coworkers. Working in senior living is a new experience for me because I’ve never worked as a caregiver for anyone living with Alzheimer’s or dementia – I’ve only worked at nursing homes. This is my first job not only in assisted living, but also working with Alzheimer’s and dementia and I love it!

3. What do you enjoy most about working at Autumn Glen?
The people – everyone has welcomed me into the community and treats me like family.

4. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Lynne?
Lynne became my mentor when I was working as a CNA in 2002. I had a job at the Jewish Convalescent, that’s where I met Lynne. She taught me so much about caregiving from how to use a Hoyer lift to the best way to bathe someone. She took me under her wing and became my mentor. Everything I know about being a caregiver, I learned from her.

5. What is one thing that Lynne has taught you that you still practice today?
Communication – Lynne taught me that communication is the biggest thing to remember when working as a caregiver – it is so important to communicate with the residents. Working as a caregiver I’ve learned that the better you know the residents, the easier it is to interact with them.

6. What is a memorable experience you have from working with Lynne?
The most memorable experience happened on my last day working with Lynne. I had told her I was leaving because I was offered a new job and she told me to never forget what she taught me. She said, “never give up on yourself, always push yourself forward”.

Their roles may be a little reversed these days but there is still an immense amount of pride from Lynne as she watches her former student succeed in the healthcare and senior living fields as a caregiver. Vanessa feels very fortunate to provide Lynne the type of care that she provided others her whole career – kind, compassionate and communicative.

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If you are considering a career in senior living, we hope you’ll consider one of our communities. Our team of associates makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our residents, every day. Because of that, we treat our team like family and we’re happy to offer:

  • Competitive Pay
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  • Tuition Reimbursement
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  • Associate Appreciation

View our careers website today to view open positions, what a day working at Northbridge is like, and why our associates love to work here.

As a New England senior living company, we pride ourselves in being the local choice for families in need of assisted living or memory care. We look to our teams of associates to truly make our communities home for our residents. Whether that’s a helping hand or a moment to listen to a story, our associates are dedicated and compassionate. With 19 communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we hope you’ll find your home here too. If you already love what you do, and want to love where you work, apply now! We look forward to meeting you.

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