Coming together at work and home makes this family bond even tighter
Every day is Grandparents Day for Doug and Jane Clausen. Although their granddaughter Ashley is grown, the New Providence couple has opportunities to see her use her talents daily. Ashley (22) works as a Safety Officer and a Dining Associate at Lantern Hill, the Erickson Living community where Doug and Jane live.
She gives them plenty of reasons to be proud. "The Erickson Living mission, to me, means going above and beyond to make sure the residents, the employees, everyone is happy and their needs are met and that they are enjoying themselves. It's an honest pleasure to work for this community, and I wouldn't want it any other way."
Doug and Jane's son, Ashley's father David, also works at the community as a Safety Officer. Doug and Jane treasure having them near and enjoy watching them grow in their careers.
"We love seeing employees and their families coming together at work," says Executive Director Patricia Swan-Jacobs. "It adds to our warm and friendly atmosphere on campus and truly makes Lantern Hill a great place to live and work."
"It's nice to have them around," says Doug, who designed accounting systems for Continental Insurance Company. "They're good kids, and they're both extremely well liked. They're the kind of people who easily remember names and know 90% of people by their first names. They're both highly regarded employees. It makes you feel good."
For Ashley and David, having family around is an added benefit to a job they both love.
"What I like most working here is the connection I have with residents. It could be my grandparents, a family friend, or the newest resident who moves in. As long as you make that connection and say, 'Hello, how are you?' that makes a good impression," Ashley says. "Because that's their home, so you want to make them feel welcome and comfortable."
David, who owned an auto repair shop and gasoline station for 35 years and volunteered at the fire station, says, "The health benefits are fantastic, and there are many opportunities to advance. But the greatest thing about working at Lantern Hill are the residents and the people I work with."
As a Safety Officer, he's a first responder to any emergency call that comes in. Safety Officers also patrol the property during their shift. He knows his parents are safe and secure.
As a Lantern Hill employee, he knows they are taken care of for the rest of their lives. Lantern Hill's continuing care neighborhood provides a fee-for-service assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing on site should they ever need it.
"They were looking for a place where they could live independently, but that had the care they might need down the road," David says.
For someone who lives on the same street in Fanwood where he was born and where his parents moved after 54 years, that peace of mind goes a long way.
"I'm very happy they live here," he says. "I think it's wonderful for them. They get out and get to meet other people instead of being confined by themselves. They can get involved in whatever they want, or they can do as little as they want."
"They're meeting a lot of friends who used to live in the towns around us when I was younger—like people they played tennis and bridge with, they're reunited with. My father's meeting more men up here than he ever did."
While it means a lot to David, that was just one of many selling points for Doug and Jane.
"First of all, it was new," Doug says of Lantern Hill. "Second of all, they had an apartment that was exactly what we were looking for. And we had a couple of friends who were already there. It was close enough to where we lived that we didn't have to change doctors or supermarkets or any of that."
Additionally, they feel the financial structure is a good one. "Erickson Living is one of the companies that guarantees two things: one, you'll get 90% of your money back when you leave and two, while the price wasn't the cheapest, it's not the most expensive."
The fact that their son and granddaughter work where they live was not a deciding factor. "That," Doug says, "was a bonus."
About Lantern Hill: Lantern Hill, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 26-acre campus in New Providence, New Jersey. The community is located in Union County and is home to 390 residents. Additional information about Lantern Hill can be found at LanternHillCommunity.com.
Written by Julia Collins