Alicia M. has worked as the receptionist at Atria Tanglewood for over thirteen years. She greets families and visitors when they enter the building and helps support residents as they go about their daily activities at the senior living community in Lynbrook, NY.

She’s also a recent winner of Atria’s Exceptional Service Award, which honors exemplary employees with financial incentives and special recognition.

Here, she shares the top five reasons she loves working in senior living.

5) The personal connections I’ve developed with residents, their family members and my coworkers. They tell me about their lives, and I do the same. They always remember my birthday and ask about my family. It’s nice to be cared about on a deeper level.

4) The special events for employees. Last year, for example, we had a party outside and made tie-dyed shirts. It was a lot of fun!

3) My supportive coworkers and community directors are always reachable when I need guidance.

2) The employee benefits, especially the 401(k) plan I’m currently enrolled in. It’s nice to work for a company that helps young people like myself grow financially.

1) Helping older adults continue to live their best lives. When a resident returns from an outing, I always say, “Welcome home” with a smile. For me, it’s a way to let them know our Tanglewood community is where they belong, and that they’re missed when they leave for lunch with family or for appointments. Almost always, they smile and say, “It’s great to be back.”