A licensed mental health counselor, Tara Fleming-Caruso has been helping elders and families explore assisted living and other senior care options for almost 20 years. As the Admissions Counselor and Marketing Manager for Assisted Living at NewBridge on the Charles, Tara understands the myriad of concerns seniors and their adult children have about the aging process and navigating transitions. With a Masters in Expressive Arts Therapies, Tara’s expertise spans dementia care, program development, family mediation and caregiver support.
We recently spoke with Tara to learn more about her job at Hebrew SeniorLife.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up outside of Rochester, NY. in a small town called Webster. The sign as you enter the town says, “Webster, where life is worth living…” It was a good place to grow up.
How long have you been with Hebrew SeniorLife?
I started with HSL 4.5 years ago. Time flies!!
You’ve been working with elders for almost 20 years, what drew you into this field?
I think this field was simply my calling. As an only child, I grew up surrounded by people older than myself and I always felt comfortable with elders. The highlight of my summers was spending the week with my grandparents and great grandparents in Ohio and upstate NY.
What do you enjoy most about working with the assisted living community?
I like working in a team, and the Assisted Living team is comprised of some very talented and unique women whom I admire. I also like working in a housing model that has an underlying mission to provide care to elders. This is compatible with my own personal mission for how I want to live my life.
What do you do in your off time?
I spend most of my waking hours out of work with my family. I have a 7 year old son who is my challenging blessing! I also spend a lot of time doing reading/homework for Hebrew SeniorLife University, which is a FABULOUS leadership training course that HSL offers to mid-level managers.
Given your twenty years of experience working with older adults, are you taking any steps today in preparation for how you will someday ReAge?
My twenty years of experience in this field has helped me understand that aging is a multi-faceted experience that encompasses many different challenges: financial, emotional, spiritual, physical, etc. I think about these upcoming issues on a daily basis and I bring up the topic with my loved ones as well. My philosophy is that we need and should be talking about the challenges and the beauty of aging on an ongoing basis. This will help us all appreciate more and fear less, and it will demystify a very natural, human process.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world (and money was not a factor), where would you go?
I would love to go back to both Ireland and Italy. My Mother is Italian and my Father is Irish. It would feel good to spend more time among the culture and the roots of my own ancestors.
Thank you Tara!
Tara will continue to share her wisdom on the Hebrew SeniorLife blog. Click here for a list of her authored blog posts, and check the blog regularly for more of her terrific content!