Client relocates to Richmond in search of her dream job of working with residents in a geriatric community

Vocational Counselor: Dana O’Connell

After spending years working in a Northern Virginia grocery store, our client relocated to Richmond in search of her dream job of working with residents in a geriatric community. She was supported by DARS, who helped her with job development, to locate her dream job. As a graduate of George Mason’s “Mason Life Program,” she shared her dream with her Vocational Counselor, Dana O’Connell. O'Connell utilized her contacts to find her client a position at a local Assisted Living facility. 

Originally hired and trained to work in the residents’ dining room, the client’s responsibilities abruptly changed as COVID-19 swept the nation and altered her work duties. The Choice Group’s Vocational Counselor immediately made adjustments to the client’s job site to help her reorient to new aspects of her position. Creating visual checklists, she developed compensatory strategies for the client to adapt to her new position of delivering meals to residents in their rooms. In addition to teaching this new task, the Vocational Counselor is also training her to increase her soft skills and build on her interactions when speaking with residents as she calms their fears, answers their questions, and directs them to appropriate senior living staff members. 

The Vocational Counselor has also worked to support the client with ensuring she remains healthy and safe at work and wears masks and personal protective equipment and follows the community’s safety precautions. 

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