Follow your Heart and Find your Purpose | Aging Care Professional
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
People say if you love what you do and love going into work everyday, you won't work a day in your life. I didn't believe that much, until I became an Aging Care Professional and became one of the people who said that. For a few years, I've wanted to start a blog composed of my professional and personal experiences from working as an Aging Care Professional. An extremely daunting and intimidating task for me, was how to begin my blog and what to write on my first post. My approach to my blog is sharing real information on relatable topics in aging. I hope my blog is supportive to caregivers, aging adults, children of aging parents, and anyone wanting to learn more about aging.
When I was 6, I wanted to grow up and be a Veterinarian because of my love for animals. At 16, I decided I want to be a teacher. I thought, I'm an organized and love to watch others learn and grow, perfect choice for me. Then at 19, after finishing my first semester of college, I switched my major to advertising. Pretty soon after starting my career at an advertising firm, I realized and started to panic, thinking.... Oh no.... I picked the wrong career. My heart wasn't invested, and I didn't feel I was helping people in a way that was really needed. After several months working at the advertising form, I decided to start really thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and research into different opportunities.
While contemplating career options, I could hear my grandma Pearl's voice, "Chase your dreams Laura! If your dreams aren't big enough, they aren't worth chasing. Don't forget to use your big heart. Remember you are a smart cookie and I know you can make a difference in this world."
When I think about our memories and the moments we shared together, I feel warm, motivated and encouraged. I feel my heart pushing me to follow this incredibly strong feeling. This feeling led me (within the next month) to a job in the aging care industry, to work with families and older adults. Immediately I knew, this is where I'm needed and what I need to do with my life, somehow and someway this is how I am going to help people. I began my first aging care role in St. Paul, MN in 2014 at a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) and learned so many new things every day. This role spiraled my love for learning to help as many older adults and families as I could by enhancing my knowledge and expertise. So many people need expert guidance, knowledge and experience on aging related struggles and obstacles from a Gerontologist (Aging Care Professional). I am determined to keep learning how I can be a better expert for my clients.
With over 6 years of aging care leadership experience, in marketing, community relations and advocacy roles, my blog posts will answer topics about aging care, caregiver support/fatigue, assisted living's, skilled nursing home's, and brain health. I'm currently pursuing my Master's in Gerontology at the University of South Florida's College of Behavior and Aging Studies. I recently completed training to become a Certified Dementia Practitioner through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP).
My main research interest in aging is brain health, cognitive impairments/injuries and different forms of dementia(s). According to the Alzheimer's Association, worldwide there are over 50 million people living with Alzheimer's and other dementia's. I am not okay with knowing 50 million people in our world live with an irreversible degenerative brain disease with no known cure. A lot of my blog posts will focus on my experiences, education and research into this topic.
In this blog, I hope you can start to get to know me and my why for writing on these topics for my blog. By listening to my grandma Pearl's advice, I found my purpose by following my heart. I hope you choose to reach out with suggestions on aging care/caregiver blog topics you would like me to help answer and to research. Your suggestions will help many others asking the same questions. I will do my best to guide you or connect you to resources that will be helpful to you and your situation.
Thank you for following my blog!
Laura Cassell, CDP
Aging Life Care Professional