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Supporting Senior Care: DeVito ’19 at Friends Care Community in Yellow Springs, Ohio

I’m now coming up on my ninth month of work at Friends Care Community, working to meet the “needs of seniors and others by providing independent living, assisted care, long-term living, and rehabilitation services” ( As this co-op quarter comes to a close I know that my time with them is also waning. I love my job. The stress, the company politics, and the ever-looming moment of a resident passing makes the job a lot to handle, but I don’t think I would ever change taking this opportunity.

I started at Friends this last October on a Miller Fellowship, and I was very intimidated to the say the least, but now I walk through the halls and I feel like I belong there. I know all of our regular residents and even have a few favorites. I know it is bias but can you blame me? They greet me with a wave, a smile, and casual “How are you?”, and I just feel like I made the right decision.

Work begins the second I enter the office, with Becky, my supervisor, handing me fistfuls of things she needs done for the day. I scan through the piles of paper as we confer over what she did last night, what her husband made for dinner, and what she saw on the History Channel. I’ve really come to admire Becky, and honestly I don’t know how she does it all. This woman single-handedly runs the admission department for our independent living, extended care facility, independent living, and rehab unit, so it makes sense that, as usual, the office is covered in stacks of papers.

Becky’s office only has one computer so if she is working on it, I’m normally bumped to Medical Records. I had an office once upon a time, but ever since Chuck, the CEO intern came in, I’ve been here. I do miss my office, but I like being in Medical Records; it’s a lot quieter. The office is tucked away around the corner from administration with a large wooden door that keeps chatty co-workers from just stopping in.

Once I am done with the papers Becky has given me, I come back to her office and we basically play the waiting game for referrals. The social workers from local hospitals call in with who they think would be a good candidate for our facility. Becky and I secretly love to read the tragic cases they send us; you know, the ones that say “25-year-old gunshot wound victim”. We pull up their medical report and it’s almost like watching a soap opera, it’s so dramatic.  And for some reason those moments all end with a good mom type lecture from Becky. She can go off on tangents like, “You’ve got to stay safe in a world like ours today,” or “No one ever volunteers anymore.”

Becky can never finish her lectures though, we get sucked back into the real world when Linda, our receptionist, calls into to say we have some lovely couple who would like a tour of the facility. I don’t want to brag, but I feel like I have gotten really good at giving tours, even if it is the same basic answers to the same questions everyone has.

“When did your rehab facility get built?”


“How much is it going to cost me?”

“For ECF, it is around $8,000 a month.”

“I really don’t know how all this works. I just want to get my Dad somewhere close to me. Can you help me?”

The most important thing you learn or notice when doing tours, is that most of the people you encounter really have no clue what they are looking for, they’re just scared, and listening to them is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the business. I remember my first days, watching Becky just nod her head and look into the eyes of people who you can’t describe as anything other than lost. It’s really powerful.

It’s always good to have a constant thing in your work place, especially working in a high stress environment and mine is Katie, the facility social worker. It never fails that after a tour, Katie comes into the office. She likes to be informed and wants to know who the people are and what they are looking for, just so she can add her two cents in on the matter. I see Becky sometimes get tired of it, but I enjoy Katie’s company. She is the only one in the administration who is even close to my age, even though she’s about fifteen years older than me. Her office shares a door with Becky’s, and on occasion I get sent over there when we run out of things to do.

My time at Friends has been really special to me. It might be because every day ends with Becky saying, “Good job today!”, or because one of the dementia residents remembers my name. It might even be because I can really say my co-workers are my family. Either way, this job makes me happy, and as for the impact it has had on my education, I can say this: it has really taught me how to care for people and develop relationships. Maybe it isn’t the job for the rest of my life or a job that pertains to my major, but it is one that has touched my heart, and that’s all I could have asked for.

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<p>Hi there, I am Graysen DeVito and it appears you have found my biography page. I will keep this short and simple, particularly because I am not a fan of talking about myself, but here goes.  I am first year college student living through the never ending battle that is Antioch College, where we don't just fight for humanity but also sleep, good grades, and a decent social life. Yellow Springs is now the place I call home, but it used to be sitting on the beach looking up at the stars from Palm Harbor, Florida. In regards to my family, I didn't necessarily "grow up" with my two brothers, considering they are close to ten years younger, but I love them nonetheless. In my free time, I would consider myself a "movie connoisseur." This just means I like to watch movies and pretend I have a professional opinion on them, because I watch a lot movies. I don't have free time very often though, because currently I am working two jobs. I am a hostess at William's Eatery on the weekends and an administrative assistant to Friends Care Community during the work week. I cherish both of these positions because how different they are. One day I am holding the hand of a resident family member, and another I am a representation of Yellow Springs to many tourist who come through our doors for good food and a good time. I never expected to move 1,000 miles away from home, but I've enjoyed the journey so far and am excited for what the future holds. When I got to Antioch, I thought I had it all figured out, what my major was, what I wanted as a career, and how the plans I had were fixed, unchangeable. After spending only nine months here though, I've grown to find that my plans are as changeable as the Ohio weather, and I am preparing for the storm.</p> <p>Thank you for reading :)</p>

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