Member Spotlight: Heidi Westlake of Bickford Assisted Living of Burlington

December 23, 2020

The best part of Heidi Westlake’s job is getting to enrich the lives of her residents. As the director of Bickford Assisted Living in Burlington, she has learned the importance of special moments and letting residents know they are loved.

How did you get started in the long-term care profession?
I started in Symphony, which are activities with residents with dementia, after my kids were older and in school.

What do you like most about working in long-term care?
I enjoy the residents and being able to make a difference in their lives. I am a people pleaser, so I do anything I can to enrich their day to let them know they matter and are loved. Sometimes that is just a hug.

What would you tell others to encourage them to consider a career in long-term care?
Working in long-term care is the easiest and hardest job you will ever have. Our residents are easy to love and getting to know them is such a privilege. Yet, it’s the hardest when it comes to saying goodbye. They are my extended family.

What lessons have you learned working in long-term care that also help you outside of work?
I have learned time management and to always make time for that special moment. Sometimes I just have to say no, or a task can wait because my residents and family need me more.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy being with my family and friends and watching the Washington Capitals play.

What is your favorite quote and why?
“You are somebody’s reason to smile.” Just one smile can make someone’s day. A smile is welcoming and comforting to all of us. It’s free! And it makes me feel good.

More about the Member Spotlight
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