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Info Seeker

Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 1 of 25
Yes, I have had a couple! At 55 I left my career in sales & marketing, to develop homes for seniors with dementia and a history of repeated hospitalizations for aggressive behavior. . The last position I had was as a regional manager for national BBQ rib company. While traveling weekly for my job, my mother was diagnosed with dementia, and after several incidents of her getting confused after walking somewhere and then calling police to say someone stole her car, only to find it sitting in its parking space back at her residence. She then moved to an assisted living an eventually to a NH for 7 yrs until she died. She was repeatedly traumatized by being discharged 12 times and hospitalized 15 times in Psych units for her so called “aggressive behavior.”
No one would take her unless she was drugged. I was told it was necessary to make her compliant in the NH environments that were consistently severely understaffed and lacked any appropriate training in dementia care.

After she died, my anger and frustration turned to a burning passion to try to develop an innovative better way to care for these seniors with dementia and aggressive behavior. I had to try to build a home to care for their unmet emotional needs that were totally neglected in ALL the places she had to live. Any place trying to do a little better would not take her because, she was on Medicaid.

For 4 years I was told “ NO “ by bank after bank that said with no healthcare experience, and no collateral I would NEVER be able to find a bank to make that $500,000 loan!
I learned to never take NO for an answer, and in 1999 opened Lakeview Ranch, in rural MN. There with 15 dedicated healthcare staff we developed a model of specialized dementia care that focused on discovering and meeting each individuals emotional & spiritual needs in addition to physical needs. I was also dedicated to making our high quality care available equally to low income seniors on Medicaid. To make that work financially I started the LR Dementia Care foundation, a non profit 501c3, as a memorial to my mother, and to raise funds to supplement Medicaid.

In 2010 we received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader award and the LR model was highlighted in the AHRQ for innovation and research. In 2014, along with supplemental income for our seniors we partnered with St. Cloud State University Gerontology Dept and did research on all aspects of the model. We had reduced behavior hospitalizations by 93.3% while mostly eliminating psychotropic drug use.

In 2014 at 70yrs old I transitioned again from the Ranch after 17yrs and started Dementia Specialist Consulting, LLC in order to share what I have learned with others and consult & support families who are caring for a loved one with dementia, provide staff and management training, and support providers by offering to be a liaison for them with families & Staff, , in order to reduce stress . My passion now is the same I am just dedicated to sharing my expertise with others so high quality care that includes emotional & spiritual needs learns that ALL behavior coming from a person with dementia IS an attemp at communication of unmet needs! I am 73 now and I am NOT ready to circle the drain anytime soon.. we ALL CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 2 of 25

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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 3 of 25

Yes, I transitioned from management level Human Resources to Health and Life Coaching. Wellness has been a lifetime passion for me and I have always thrived to be the best version so myself. I work with seniors to coach them on being fabulous over 50. 

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Conversationalist

Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 4 of 25

Absolutely. I’m a retired RN (Charge in a Level 1 Trauma Center, Inner City ER).  I am now a part time Cantorial Soloist in a Synagogue and have a painting studio.  I moved into both of these gradually, having no idea I could do any of it.  Lots of encouragement and coaching from friends.

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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 5 of 25

No I haven't.  I don't want to go back to the financial industry.  Smiley Happy

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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 6 of 25

Have you done any work with financial institutions on the topic of Compliance? Specifically with smaller FI's. That is one of my second careers. Let me know.

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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 7 of 25

I am an Australian who at 18 wanted to go to university to study agricultural science, but after a disagreement with my mother over the amount of time I would put into study time, I switched to an apprenticeship in Horticulture, finishing that at 21. I loved getting my hands in the soil & give me a pair of clippers & I am still happy with that (sometimes too happy to my plants despair). I was working as a gardener/driver at a childrens psychiatric cliinic & school with inpatients & day patients, my driving duties involved taking a child or children with nurses to other clinics or outings. I enjoyed my contact with these kids (mostly hyperactive & or emotionally disturbed or Down's Syn.), eventually through my contact with them I thought I would like to become a nurse & look after children like these.

 

My sister-in-law had recently become an RN & advised me to do my general nursing 1st. before going into pyschiatric nursing. This I did & in Jan. 1979, I passed my state exams & graduated as an RN. I spent 1 week on night duty on a surgical ward & then switched to the OR where I stayed for the next 34 years I had a wonderful & very fulfilling career in Australia & here in the USA, arriving here in November 1985 for a 2 year work experience & I never moved back home.

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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 8 of 25

I always loved to write since I was 5 years old.  One night my mother called me from outdoors to come in and go to bed and since it was still light out I was angry. She told me not to forget to say my prayers (the “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” one). I was really angry so I did not say that prayer.  Instead I made up my own prayer which I still remember to this day. That night started my writing interest. I began to write a lot of poetry---about my friends, about dating and romance and other earthly happenings.  In high school I was the editor of our school paper. When it was time for college I wanted to go into Journalism; however, it was known then that for women it was a hard career to get into and I was advised to choose a different occupation----like teaching, or secretarial or nursing.  So I randomly flipped open the college catalogue and it opened up to the Nursing Major.  It was at that moment that I chose Nursing.  Little did I know it was the perfect choice for me. While in Nursing school I wrote all kinds of things—some required by my courses but I also articles for Nursing journals and I was the editor of a Nursing School Newsletter. I also wrote poems about college and Nursing life. After being married and having children I wrote poetry about my family.  I would always get the urge to write something. I had several types of jobs in Nursing.  One day I noticed a small ad in the local newspaper about a position as a Nurse/Writer at a Christian based long term care company headquarters. I carried that ad around for a few days and wondered if I should apply. Something told me to---yes, go and apply---it was like it was meant for me---to be able to practice Nursing and writing.  So I did apply and thankfully was hired for what I called my “dream job”-----a Nurse/Writer. I had that job for 15 years until I retired and loved every minute of it.  However, the best thing that happened is when I was enlisted as others were once in while, to give devotions on some mornings. I ended up doing that and one day after my devotion a co-worker said to me “You should write a book.”  I laughed at that notion; however that night I thought---well maybe I would try it even though I had never attempted it. So in 2000 I wrote my first book entitled  “I Thought There Was a Road There….and Other Lessons in Life  From God”, a non-fiction collection of short stories and I gave the profits to the company.  That got me hooked even more on writing and now in my retirement I wrote my second book---“Separated Lives”--- a true story about the search for a friend’s birthparents which was a fascinating and interesting journey. So what really happened is that I had several jobs in Nursing but then when I finally retired, I considered that my “second career job”, which started as an adjacent job all-along in my career (and was my hobby) was writing. 

 

Lynn Assimacopoulos

 

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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 9 of 25

I was very fortunate I was able to not work while my children were growing up.  Off and on I worked various jobs:  Housekeeper, Grocery clerk, Care provider for the elderly and a CNA working in Convalescent Hospitals. Then my second career was totally the very best fit for me!!  I worked as a  Educational Assistant 3.   I worked with the Handicapped people in a school setting, ages from 16 to 21.  I loved this job so very much, I was heart-broken when my Illness made me have to retire. There is no better job out there and being accepted and loved by so many students, no questions as to why I loved this job!!

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Re: Have you had a second career?

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Message 10 of 25

I was laid off my job that I had worked  for 31 years at the age of 59.  I have been out of work for approximately a year and half.  I have been looking for jobs on and off no success yet.  I have also been doing alot more volunteering and caughing up on projects around the house, that you can;t seem to get to becuase you are working.  So I have decided to go back to school and get a Masters Degree at age 60.  I am a little nervous beause  I have not been in school for 38 years.  I can not retire at this time I need to wait 4-6 years more years so we will see what happens.  I saw this message the other day:  Sometimes God closes doors because it's time to MOVE forward.  He knows you won't move unless your circumstances force you.  Trust the transition.  God's go you!!   This definitely spoke to me.

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