Nurse finds calling as senior living administrator

A nurse elevated to senior living administrator, Amanda Kerr is embracing every moment as the leader of Good Samaritan Society – Water Valley in Colorado.

“There’s not been a day I haven’t wanted to come to work. I may work too much,” Amanda says with a laugh.

Most days Amanda and her team hit the ground running, or maybe even dancing.

“People have to dance when they come in if they’re past nine o’clock,” Amanda says regarding the morning meeting. “The organization I’d say we have is a kind and compassionate organization.

"Being able to know what someone needs. If you can read them and know they’re having a bad day, how can you support them? It’s nice to come to work and have fun."

Water Valley staff connects with a community of residents from 121 independent living apartments across five towers.

“She stops and says a few words or if I see her someplace, I give her a hug,” resident Lou Warner says about Amanda.

There are also twin homes as well as assisted living and memory care apartments.

“We have a lake and a golf course in the valley and it’s very beautiful,” Amanda says about the campus.

Inspired by her tight relationship with her own grandma, Amanda jumped into senior care nearly a decade ago and hasn't looked back.

"When I look at them, I just say how would I want my grandma treated? I just love them like I would love her."

That level of care extends to her people.

“It’s teamwork," Society sales specialist Andrew Pouncey says. "If someone is falling short or people are out sick, we all jump in to help. It’s always all hands on deck."

Andrew was a caregiver before shifting to sales.

“When I got here, I didn’t know that we prayed together every morning before we start our day. That helped with my personal life also,” Andrew says.

“The Society is a great place not only for employees but for residents as well."

'You accept people like they are’

A former front-line worker, Amanda says she can relate to her employees.

“I was a very young teen mother. Started working when I was 14 years old at a Taco Tico. I worked up until I became a nurse, probably two, three jobs at a time to make it.”
She adds her current position at the Society is a calling.

"When I was 14 years old, never thought I’d be here,” Amanda says. “It touches lives because you can meet people where they’re at and you can give them compassion and you can love them."

Residents like Lou Warner who is originally from South Dakota. Lou moved into a Society apartment five years ago with her husband Sam.

“I think it’s a great place to live. What a nice, wonderful place. I have so many friends here and so many that have given me so much support when my husband passed away. It’s really wonderful that I can be here. My son says, ‘Mom you couldn’t be in a better place than you are here,’” Lou says.

The 89-year-old feels safe and lives with purpose.

“I just really, really love her. A great friend,” Lou says about Amanda.

Amanda adds, “if you have that compassion and caring, this is where it’s at."

She's sharing her story in hopes others will search out a career at the Society.

“My grandma has a saying: ‘You take them like they come.’ You accept people like they are and you love them. I’ve felt that here and I try to give that to other people too,” Amanda says.

“It’s not blood but you can choose the people who are your family. Choose Good Samaritan."

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