Grace Guerber, memory care director at The Summit for Sunland Springs, has been working in this community for five years. Guerber actually started her journey years before when she visited The Summit at Sunland Springs as a teenager. She remembers being really nervous because she’d never been around people with dementia before.
“Obviously that has changed!” she says. “I broke out of my comfort zone and became more comfortable with trying new things.”
After high school, a friend recommended her for a job at The Summit. She applied for the position and started working in assisted living. She fell in love with the people and continued to develop her skills and abilities in different positions. She says this experience helps her in her role as memory care director.
“It’s really helped me know how to deal with different things,” she says. “Taking on a leadership role is a challenge, but I understand where the staff are coming from.”
Her current responsibilities cover a broad range of duties, from nursing and orders to move-ins and assessments. She says her favorite times are being out on the floor with the residents.
“I never sit still for too long,” she says, “but I always make sure to start the day by helping with breakfast, because it gives me the chance to be around the residents and staff members.”
The Summit is managed by Avista Senior Living. Guerber credits the leadership team and the staff for believing in her and pushing her to learn more.
“I appreciate how Avista has helped me grow as a person and career wise,” Guerber says. “I’ve had a lot of great people help me along the way. Just having people who believe in you makes all the difference.”
Guerber says helping families is the best and hardest part of her job. She strives to always be there for the families and to provide the communication and support they need.
“Transitioning to memory care is a really hard thing for a lot of people,” she says. “Their loved ones aren’t who they once knew. It brings them comfort that someone is watching out for their loved one.”
When she’s not caring for the residents, staff and families at The Summit, Guerber loves spending time with her year-old Australian shepherd.
“My dog gets most of my attention,” she says with a laugh, “and I try to be around my friends and family as much as possible.”