One of The Admiral at the Lake’s defining attributes is its transparency between the staff and residents. When deciding on a retirement community, older adults are looking for a new home where they will not only feel taken care of but feel like part of a larger family. This feeling of community is as dependent on staff as it is on fellow residents, as Jennifer Dietelhoff, Director of Resident Services for Independent Living well knows.
Jennifer is someone residents know well as part of their daily lives. Recently, we caught up with Jennifer and got to know more about her.
Get to Know Jennifer
Jennifer has been with The Admiral at the Lake since 2009. She has enjoyed working in retirement living for the past 20 years and has held a variety of roles including activities, operations and sales.
Jennifer grew up in Illinois, about an hour away from Arlington Heights where she now lives with her husband. She enjoys spending time with her two daughters and two grandchildren.
“I love Chicago and love living in the suburbs of Chicago,” Jennifer said. “Living in Arlington Heights allows me to be close enough to downtown so I can see and do all of the things Chicago has to offer.”
She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and holds a degree in Sociology and Political Science.
“I wanted to know about people and how I can help others through social work,” she said. “I love working in the human-to-human element.”
A Day in the Life of the Director of Resident Services
As the Director of Resident Services for Independent Living, Jennifer is a part of the residents’ daily lives.
“Every morning the staff has a stand-up meeting at 9 o’clock. It’s a great way for staff from every department to get together and update each other on what is going in each department. For example, our enrichment coordinator in The Harbors lets us know what activities are planned for assisted living, dining will inform us if they are having a food demo for the residents and I can update everyone on what is going on in independent living for that day.”
After the morning meeting, Jennifer goes about her day helping residents and their families.
“The residents will come to me for anything and everything. Some examples would be questions about a work order, about information on the community, even questions about their phone bill,” Jennifer explained. “Pretty much anything they may encounter in their daily life, they come to me. They are comfortable with coming to me and I enjoy helping them with any concerns or problems they may have.”
Jennifer also works closely with the residents’ families.
“As our residents age in place, their journey changes. It’s not always an easy change. Residents are feeling lots of things and we need to be sympathetic to those feelings. I also step in and help the families understand what we are seeing on a daily basis with their loved ones,” she explains.
Enjoying Time with the Residents and Staff
The residents at The Admiral at the Lake inspire Jennifer every day. She appreciates the time she gets to spend with them and learn more about them.
“I like their honesty,” Jennifer said. “Each resident has lived such an interesting life and I feel I learn from them with the stories they tell. I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences with the residents that have gone beyond touching my heart. Its been very heartwarming to share many aspects of their life with them.”
As for working with the staff of The Admiral at the Lake, Jennifer feels even though they may have a different approach to doing things, they still stand united and work as a team.
“We work side-by-side and we have done a lot of team building,” Jennifer explained. “We enjoy pulling different team members from different departments to gather different viewpoints to solve any problem that comes our way.”
Why Live at The Admiral at the Lake?
“The Admiral at the Lake is a warm and an inviting community,” Jennifer said. “The two things that differentiate us from the competition are our closeness and our transparency. We treat each other like family and are open and honest with one another. We don’t shy away from the more difficult topics, we talk to the residents directly and with honesty so they have all of the information they need. There are no secrets.”
Jennifer invites anyone who is interested in a retirement community to check out the communities that interest them firsthand.
“I think people are hesitant to find out what a retirement community is all about and that’s with every community,” she said. “There is still a stigma of ‘nursing homes’ that lingers but I think that is finally starting to dissipate.”
At The Admiral at the Lake, you can schedule a visit or take part in the Be Our Guest at the Lake program. The program allows you to stay a couple of nights and fully experience living at The Admiral.