Say hello to Juanita, the newest member of the Tea & Toast team!
We sat down with Juanita to get to know her a bit better.
Juanita, what is your current job title?
I am a Senior Living Advisor with Tea & Toast.
What did you do professionally before coming to Tea & Toast?
Sales and Marketing Manager/Director positions in several retirement communities in the Ottawa area, prior to that I was a restaurant owner, manager, chef, dishwasher, garbage taker outer … chief cook and bottle washer.
Why do you enjoy working for Tea & Toast?
Speaking as someone who used to do sales for retirement communities, Tea & Toast has always been my preferred referral agency for seniors.
Amy and her team care about their clients; they really go above and beyond to ensure that seniors and family members have all the information they need to make educated decisions.
As well, Tea & Toast has a well-known reputation in Ottawa for being honest, caring, compassionate and respectful—so I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to work with a team that shares the same values I have!
What’s a current trend you see in Canada regarding senior care and retirement?
People are living longer, and new communities are being built everywhere. However, there are very few communities that offer affordable care and accommodations for the average Canadian.
This means seniors are staying in their homes longer, even when it’s obvious to their family, friends and doctors that they need to be in supportive communities.
Canadians need to change their retirement financial plans, to accommodate for living longer and increasing costs for care.
What’s the one thing you would tell children of aging parents—even if their parents aren’t yet at the age where they might need a retirement residence?
Be proactive, gather information, ask questions, and have a plan. This will help ensure that everyone is prepared if your parents suddenly decide to make a move to retirement, or if something happens to force a move.
The saddest thing I see is when a move is forced (usually health-related), and people have no idea what their options are, or what the differences are between retirement communities. They haven’t taken that opportunity to do the research in advance, and therefore they don’t know whom to call on for advice.
What do you think makes you really good at your job?
I look at every client I meet as though they were my mom, my dad, my Grammy or Grampy—and I treat them the way I would want my family to be treated.
I think that making a connection with people is key. To do that, you need to be open. That means not only “hearing” what people are saying, but also actively listening—which means listening with all your senses. This is the only way to truly understand the messages that are being conveyed; and the only way to ensure you’re on the right track with other people’s wants and needs.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to travel, laugh, paint, laugh, beach comb, laugh, play cards, laugh, spend time with family and friends and laugh…did I mention I like to laugh?! 🙂
Is there a mantra or words of wisdom you like to live by?
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”—Maya Angelou