Member Spotlight: Eric Olson of Accura HealthCare of Ames

July 6, 2022

Eric Olson began working in long-term care while in high school, has a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and continues to serve residents by providing exceptional care as the executive director at Accura HealthCare of Ames.

How did you become interested in the long-term care profession?
I grew up in long-term care. I started working as a dietary aide in one of the nursing homes in my hometown of Sigourney, Iowa when I was in high school. My mother was a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at the community I worked at. My best friend was also a dietary aide, and his mother was a nurse at the same facility too.

What do you like most about working in long-term care?
I love hearing the life stories that our residents have to share. I also enjoy being available to assist my staff members in providing the best care and service possible.

What would you tell others to encourage them to consider a career in long-term care?
If you care about others, it is absolutely worth lending your time and talents to the generation that helped build everything we enjoy about our world today. You’re going to fall in love with the residents and make some incredible lifelong friendships in the process.

What lessons have you learned working in long-term care that also help outside of work?
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the seemingly never-ending challenges that come up on a daily basis, but things can always be worse. The residents are always worth fighting for, which keeps me going every day.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m a crazy endurance athlete. I got into running back in 2014 and ran my first marathon in 2015.  I’ve since completed 23 of them across 16 states with a goal of completing one in all 50 states. I got into a triathlon in late 2020 and am looking forward to competing in my first full Ironman in Des Moines. Otherwise, I enjoy playing with my nearly year-old golden retriever puppy, Arya, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes and Green Bay Packers during football season!

What is your favorite quote and why?
“Somewhere inside, we hear a voice. It leads us in the direction of the person we wish to become. But it is up to us whether or not to follow.” – Pat Tillman

I love this quote because it’s a great reminder that nobody is perfect. We all possess the ability to make intentional choices that bring value to the lives of others every day in the pursuit of being the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.

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