All Sharon Boedeker had to do was hear about the open position at Belvedere Senior Housing. The next thing she knew, she was preparing for the role of Director of Nursing—even before she claimed the position.
“I just knew that this is where I was going to be, and that I belonged here,” she said.
Boedeker doggedly pursued the role, calling to touch base on her application as often as she could. Though she joked she pulled the reins in a bit so as not to seem too “creepy,” she nevertheless made her interest and passion known. The position was hers as of February of 2018.
A lot of specifics grabbed Boedeker’s attention when it came to Belvedere’s appeal, the main one being their affordability for those residents with little to no insurance and limited income.
“I’ve been a registered nurse for 25 years, working mostly in long term and hospice care,” Boedeker said. “I’ll be honest, I didn’t like a lot of what I saw. The way a lot of facilities and companies treated patients who had Medicaid versus those who didn’t need it was distinctly different. Belvedere’s mission immediately stood out to me.”
Residents at Belvedere Senior Housing have a perfect balance of independence and support, as Boedeker explained. The community is fitting for residents who need assistance, plus a sense of community and autonomy.
“Our management company has truly opened its arms to people who have never had this kind of support or option before,” Boedeker said.
Having worked in Illinois previously, Boedeker took a significant pay cut in her transition to Belvedere—which is more than fine by her.
“Money doesn’t matter when you love what you do,” she said. “And I really love it here. This is exactly the kind of place I’ve always wanted to work.”
Boedeker has developed a special bond with her residents, something that she especially values in her role.
“When I took on this job, I knew I didn’t want to be just a nurse to my patients,” she said. “I wanted to be someone they can rely on and trust, someone they’d consider more of a friend. I am very happy to say I think I’ve managed to do that pretty well!”
Once a month, Boedeker teaches an arts and crafts class to residents to erase the sense of medical routine in her relationship with them. Beyond her own responsibilities, she helps wherever she can in the building, be it the kitchen or in maintenance.
“I value my work ethic, and when you’re a nursing director, you’re not just that—you’re a little bit of everything,” she said. “It doesn’t matter to me if I work 80 hours a week or 180. I’ll do whatever I need to do to make sure everyone else’s day is going smoothly, too.”
When she’s not at work, she loves spending time with her 4-year-old granddaughter, who has spunk in spades, judging by Boedeker’s stories.
“She means the world to me,” she said. “I don’t remember a time before her.”
Her patients are a close second, though.
“I always tell people, I don’t have 111 residents,” she said. “‘I have 111 friends here.”
To learn more about Belvedere Senior Housing, visit their website.