AJAS Conference Connecting People

April 11, 2022

It’s not rational for an adult to be nervous to go to a work conference, but I was. There’s the travel dynamic and then the questions: Who will I sit with? Will I know anyone? It is amazing how quickly a room of 200 strangers becomes a comfortable circle of connection after a few stories are shared over dinners and breakout sessions. We talked about our families, where we came from, what we like to eat, and teams we cheer for. I walked in nervous but walked out with hugs all around and new friends that knew my kids by name.

How fitting, given the theme of this year’s conference was “deep personal connection.” Having deep personal understanding of our residents and colleagues could be the key to solving all of our problems, such as staff retention, census, and the bottom line. Strong work relationships create loyalty; deep understanding of resident preferences leads to improved hospitality and better anticipation of needs.

We are all here to serve others and honor our elders as they represent our own personal families. The best thing we can all do in our business is to remember that we are all connected, we all have preferences, tastes, desires—we are all the same human race. That idea seems to make a complex business simple. To look at each resident as a reflection of ourselves or our own family could be the single most important ideological transformation to better serve those in our communities and mend the bottom line.


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