A Little Kindness Can Go a Long Way
Our customer, Fireside House of Centralia, truly cares for the people they serve. Their mission is to treat all the individuals they care for like family.
We recently met with one of their colleagues to learn what makes their facility exceptional.
Meet Jason Hill
For over 20 years, Jason Hill has been deeply committed to his work in long-term care. In his current role at Fireside House, Jason is an Administrator in Training, Social Service Director, and Information Technology Director.
With a background in business management, he worked in banking before turning his attention to healthcare. He said he has always loved working with people and knew it was where he was meant to be early on in his career.
When asked to describe his experience transitioning to senior care, he said “It all started in 2000 when I was a Youth Care Coordinator for Hoyleton Youth & Family Services, a group home for children eight to 18 years of age. I later worked for a state-operated developmental center that cared for physically and mentally challenged individuals ranging in age from 18 to 80 years old. In 2011, I started at Fireside as the social worker. I found my niche in long term care, and that is where I have found my place.”
A caregiver at heart
Jason is a true caregiver who loves working with people. “My favorite part of my job is working with my residents and getting to know them and their families. We are blessed to have so many unique individuals that we serve.”
Jason also mentioned that he feels especially close to the residents since he has known some of them since he was young. “Fireside is in a small town, and I grew up there. My grandparents always had gatherings, and I grew up being around my grandparents and their friends. When they come to our facility to stay, we reminisce about the times when I was young and always around them. I’ve had the privilege over the years to be around many of them.”
For Jason, this personal connection and deep commitment to caregiving is what makes Fireside House of Centralia special. “I feel our facility is special because we truly know each person we serve. Our mission is to treat residents like family because they are. We always say yes, our facility may be somewhat dated, but the care we provide is truly exceptional. And our staff is incredibly dedicated, many of them have been with us for 10, 20 even 30 plus years.”
Learning from their residents
Jason also mentioned one of the perks of working in senior care is that residents have fascinating histories and experiences they are eager to share with the staff. “The residents teach us so much about life by telling their stories. They have such a rich history that we often ask them to share stories with us in an effort to learn more about them. I find that we gain a deeper connection with them and walk away with more knowledge about the histories we previously only learned in books. It really is a win-win situation because they love telling us their stories and we love hearing them.”
Kindness goes a long way
Like many senior care facilities, Fireside was devastated by COVID-19 in November & December of 2020, and sadly lost many beloved residents. Jason told us that although it was an incredibly difficult time for the staff, he did notice a unity that has brought them closer together. “One thing COVID has done is brought our staff together in these trying times. Everyone is willing to help where needed. We have always been a close-knit group that truly cares, but this pandemic has strengthened our team and proved our resilience.”
Jason also mentioned that during the pandemic, Fireside House of Centralia was committed to ensuring the residents and staff were an engaged as possible. “We made sure residents had access to iPads for communication with loved ones and we would try our best to ensure the extra work and dedication of our staff was rewarded to make them feel appreciated.”
Getting back to normal
Now that things are getting back to way they were pre-pandemic, the residents of Fireside have been able to enjoy activities together again. Jason told us that their activity department is composed of a group of very special individuals who pride themselves in community involvement. “Our residents look forward to outings to local restaurants for a program we call the “Breakfast Club.” We also do lunch in the community sometimes and one of the best activities we do every year is making apple butter! This is a two-day event that involves seven bushels of apples, 75 lbs of sugar, and a large copper kettle over 100 years old. We cook in the yard all day, and the residents love to help by peeling and stirring the apples all day long. It’s a fun event the residents look forward to each year.”
October 1, 2021