Written by Gillian Turner, Social Media & PR Specialist
Located in La Verne, California, Hillcrest Retirement Community is unique because of its one-of-a-kind Integrative Therapy Room. I spoke with Ryan Harrison, Director of Resident Life & Wellness at Hillcrest, who says that the Integrative Therapy Room, or ITR for short, is unusual and he is not aware of any other retirement communities that offer something quite like it.
So, what is an Integrative Therapy Room?
Originally just a massage therapy room, Ryan recognized the opportunity to expand its use and invite in more modalities when the current massage therapist retired. With a background of 16 years working as a holistic health practitioner, he had an appreciation for holistic and integrative therapies that others may not have. The ITR currently has an Acupuncturist, Reflexologist, and Directional Non-Force Technique Chiropractor. Ryan hopes to add an Aromatherapist or Herbalist to the team in the near future.
After being closed for quite some time because of the COVID pandemic, Ryan is hopeful that the ITR will be able to start offering services in person again soon as California is relaxing its safety restrictions. In the meantime, he has been supporting the residents of Hillcrest through virtual presentations on various integrative health topics.
Job Opportunity for Aromatherapists or Herbalists
Ryan hopes that as the ITR reopens, he can bring in an Aromatherapist or Herbalist on contract. Or even better, someone who has expertise in both aromatherapy and herbalism. If you are a certified Aromatherapist or Herbalist living near La Verne, California, keep reading to learn what working at Hillcrest would be like. And if you are an Aromatherapist or Herbalist living elsewhere, at the end of this blog post I will also include some tips on how to pitch your holistic health services to a retirement community in your own area.
Hillcrest currently has two job listings that ACHS has shared through our Career Center:
What does a day at work look like?
Each of the practitioners on contract at Hillcrest use the Integrative Therapy Room for one day out of the week to see their clients in 1 on 1 appointments. “They share a Google calendar so they can all access it and put in the info for who they’re seeing that day. Because they set their own schedule, they’ll come when they want and leave when they want,” Ryan says.
In addition to 1 on 1 appointments, the job involves giving group presentations to educate the residents. For example, Ryan and a recent ACHS graduate will be giving a virtual presentation on the basics of aromatherapy this month. As COVID restrictions loosen and presentations go back to being in person, Ryan says that the more interactive they are, the better.
Another benefit of the job is that the new Aromatherapist or Herbalist will have the ability to use the ITR to work with not only residents, but also staff and the general public.
Working with an older population
The ideal candidate for working at Hillcrest would be someone who lives locally. “They really need to appreciate older adults and the challenges older adults come with, which can include impaired eyesight and hearing. Someone who is patient, fun, funny, kind, those are really some of the top qualities,” Ryan says.
The best part of working at Hillcrest is undeniably the residents. “We have great residents here,” Ryan says. “A lot of them are retired educators, a few are retired doctors and engineers so they are a smart group of people. In general, they are also unstudied and unfamiliar with these kinds of therapies. It’s an opportunity for the Aromatherapist or Herbalist to educate people as they work.”
Want to join the team at Hillcrest?
“It’s a pretty vibrant community,” Ryan says. “It’s a good team of therapists, we get to know each other and help each other. It’s a beautiful facility and a nice opportunity to settle into a really lovely community and do some really meaningful work.”
If you are local to La Verne, California, and are interested in this job opportunity, you can find Ryan’s contact information below:
Ryan Harrison, Director of Resident Life & Wellness
How to pitch integrative health services to a retirement community
“I don’t think there’s another community like ours that has anything like this. We’re doing something that’s really never been done before, which is really exciting,” Ryan says. Because the Integrative Therapy Room at Hillcrest is so unique, I asked Ryan for some tips for holistic health practitioners to introduce a similar concept in other retirement communities.
A great way to get your foot in the door is to do an unpaid presentation to educate the community. This helps to build trust within the community and generate interest in holistic health. “If the community doesn’t know enough to trust it, they’re probably not going to open the door. It’s going to be on the [practitioner] to start to create interest and trust. The more they do that, the better,” Ryan says.
He also suggests doing lots of research on your holistic health modality and how it affects older adults. Having data on your modality and being able to show research studies is important. Working with a local osteopathic doctor or chiropractor is also a useful way to gain extra credibility.
If you are interested in working in the Integrative Therapy room, be sure to send Ryan an email at email@example.com. For job listings with ACHS and other industry opportunities, visit our Jobs page.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media & PR specialist for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
About American College of Healthcare Sciences
American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.
This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.
We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.
When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.