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Economic Challenges

From Battlefield to Heartfelt: A Journey of Purpose with Jake DeSantis

In this captivating installment of “Joy of Living,” host Barry Shore invites you to explore one man’s extraordinary odyssey. Meet Jake DeSantis, whose life narrative weaves through diverse self-discovery and meaningful growth chapters.

From his spirited pre-military escapades to the rigors of army training, Jake unveils how every experience was a stepping stone toward realizing his true calling. Engage with his reflections on thriving in the assisted living industry—a realm demanding compassion, adaptability, and dedicated management.

Amid insights about community dynamics and empowering independence, Jake unveils the tapestry of his journey—one that encompasses resilience in the face of a pandemic’s challenges and the exhilarating ascent to recovery.

Join us for a profound conversation that resonates with anyone seeking inspiration from life’s trials and triumphs. Through Jake’s narrative, you’ll discover the deep beauty of embracing transformation and the joy that emerges from living purposefully.

Inspirit Senior Living

Show Notes:

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[12.16] Pre-Military

In this segment, Jake DeSantis takes us through the formative years before his military experience, shedding light on his vibrant personality and choices that led him to where he is today.

  • Jake’s Lively Persona: Some people describe me as rambunctious and full of color. Back then, I was more interested in enjoying life and having a good time than burying myself in books.
  • Embracing Normalcy: Despite any labels, I see myself as an ordinary guy who was searching for his path.
  • Diverse Work Ventures: After completing high school, I ventured into various jobs ranging from telemarketing to cashier roles. Each experience added a layer to my understanding of the world.
  • Pivotal Decision: At a certain point, I decided to join the military. This decision would go on to shape my life in profound ways.
  • Military’s Transformative Impact: Looking back, I believe that the military provided me with essential guidance, training, and a sense of direction that was previously absent.
  • Empowering Belief: One powerful lesson I’ve learned is that our destiny isn’t a product of chance; it’s shaped by the choices we make.

[20.11] Training

In this segment, Jake DeSantis walks us through his transformative training experiences within the army, highlighting the challenges, lessons, and skills that laid the foundation for his future endeavors.

  • Battling Tough Basic Training: The army’s basic training was no walk in the park. It demanded resilience and determination, pushing me to my mental and physical limits.
  • Navigating Advanced Individualized Training: I transitioned into advanced individualized training following the demanding basic training. This phase was tailored to specialize in the area I had chosen.
  • Upholding Accountability: Throughout my training, a strong sense of accountability was instilled in every aspect. This principle guided our actions and decisions.
  • Army’s Unyielding Dedication: A well-known army adage rings true: “We accomplish more before 9 A.M. than most people do all day.” This commitment to productivity was deeply ingrained in our training.
  • Surpassing Studiousness: Although I wasn’t the most studious individual, I thrived during my time at the AIT school. My dedication and adaptability were key factors in my success.
  • Excelling in Physical Training: My proficiency extended beyond the intellectual realm. I excelled in physical training, a testament to my determination and drive.
  • Medical Specialist Role: I found my niche as a medical specialist within the 91 bravo unit. This role capitalized on my strengths and honed my skills in a crucial area.
  • Building Blocks for the Future: Every experience during this period became a steppingstone for my subsequent career. The knowledge, discipline, and expertise I gained would prove invaluable.

[35.18] US Army

In this segment, Jake DeSantis recounts his journey after his time in the US Army, detailing how his military training became the bedrock for his subsequent career and his path to finding his true calling.

  • A Utilitarian Approach: Armed with the skills acquired during my military service, I seamlessly transitioned into the civilian workforce, securing a role as a medical assistant.
  • Harnessing the GI Bill: Taking advantage of the GI Bill, I embarked on the next phase of my education. I consider myself fortunate to have been chosen for a vocational nursing program, which opened new doors for me.
  • Applying Military Lessons: The foundation provided by my military experience proved invaluable as I excelled in my role as a medical assistant. The discipline and expertise I had gained allowed me to thrive.
  • Grateful for the Journey: Reflecting on my trajectory, I realize how fortunate I am to be in my current position. The choices I made and the paths I took have led me to meaningful fulfillment.
  • Embracing My Calling: I’ve found my true vocation and couldn’t envision pursuing any other path. The alignment between my passion and my work is a source of great contentment.
  • Navigating Prior Roles: Before settling into my current niche, I explored different job opportunities, including positions within the assisted living industry. Each experience added to my growth.
  • Blossoming in Assisted Living: Ultimately, I found my niche within the assisted living industry. This sector resonated with me, providing a platform to utilize my skills and make a genuine impact.

[40.01] Assisted Living Industry

In this segment, Jake DeSantis dives into his experiences within the assisted living industry, shedding light on this vital field’s demands, rewards, and intricacies.

  • A Skill-Hungry Industry: The world of assisted living is a haven for those eager to acquire new skills. The industry’s high demand for expertise provides a fertile ground for growth.
  • Igniting My Passion: My interest was ignited when I encountered my first opportunity for management within the assisted living setting. This role marked a turning point in my career journey.
  • Dedicated Care: My commitment to the residents was unwavering. I took immense pride in ensuring their well-being and providing exceptional care.
  • Navigating Regulatory Scrutiny: The industry is subject to rigorous oversight from state inspectors who evaluate our operations. Their visits offer insights into areas of improvement and excellence.
  • Balancing Compliance and Compassion: There were instances when state inspectors pointed out minor violations. This was puzzling, given my strong focus on resident care. Sometimes, adherence to certain regulations posed challenges.
  • Steering Clear of Skilled Care: In most cases, we aim to avoid requiring highly skilled medical attention. The focus is on maintaining a level of independence that suits each individual’s capabilities.
  • Embracing Diverse Levels of Independence: Our residents possess varying degrees of self-sufficiency. It’s crucial to tailor our approach to cater to the unique needs of each person.
  • Caring for Memory: In addition to our standard services, we also provide specialized memory care units. These units are designed to support individuals dealing with memory-related challenges.

[43.03] Fostering Vibrant Communities

In this segment, Jake DeSantis walks us through the dynamic world of fostering vibrant assisted living communities, emphasizing the diversity, challenges, and growth that come with managing multiple locations.

  • Nurturing Independence: Acknowledging the range of individual capabilities, our approach respects varying degrees of independence among residents.
  • Holistic Care Approach: Our commitment extends to residents needing specialized care, including those in our memory care units, where we provide tailored support.
  • Expanding Horizons: With a sense of pride, we now oversee 22 communities spread across six different states, creating an extensive network of care.
  • Remote Support: My role encompasses overseeing all our communities, even if it requires remote management. This ensures consistent quality across the board.
  • People Power: Our communities are driven by dedicated teams. Each community thrives with the collective efforts of 60-70 staff members.
  • Empowering Employment: A testament to the growth and reach of our communities, we employ over 1300 individuals, contributing to local economies and livelihoods.
  • Battling Pandemic Challenges: The industry faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic. It tested our resilience and adaptability, forcing us to reevaluate our practices.
  • Resilience and Recovery: Despite the trials posed by the pandemic, our communities are making remarkable strides towards recovery. We’re experiencing a strong rebound and positive growth.

What’s your most fervent desire?

I aspire to create a meaningful impact in people’s lives during my time here. I hope to be remembered for the positive difference I’ve made.

Quote of the Day: HUG: Heartfelt Unlimited Giving

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About Jake DeSantis

Regional Director of Wellness Services
Jake DeSantis is responsible for healthcare oversight, working closely with Inspirit corporate leadership and with all Inspirit Senior Living communities to ensure that every community’s wellness department has the tools they need to deliver the highest quality care for our residents. Jake brings his years of experience to provide hands-on support and guidance to help Inspirit team members achieve personal, community, regional, and corporate goals.