Anita Yoder has worked with many residents, patients, and coworkers throughout her 46-year nursing career. She has made a number of stops along the way—from her hometown of Sigourney, IA, to her current position as Director of Health Services at Elim Shores in Eden Prairie, MN.
“It’s been one of my favorite jobs in my career,” Yoder said of working at Elim Shores.
There are a number of reasons for that.
That has made her decision to retire from her full-time position on May 19, 2023, difficult.
“It’s a smaller building, more casual feel and just an awesome group of people to work with,” she said. “… We all look out for each other. Teamwork is a little more doable than in a large building. It sort of feels like a family. We’ve had some excellent residents and family members: some of the best people I’ve ever encountered.”
“This has been a really tough decision,” she said. “ … I must say, it’s going to be really hard to walk away from that part of my life.”
She won’t be stepping away completely; she’ll be staying on call with Cassia.
Honored to Care for Older Adults
As she prepares for the next stage in her life, she is reflecting back on what she has enjoyed about her nursing career.
Building relationships and trust, and serving older adults are at the top of that list.
“As they get older, you need to build on that respect and knowledge they have and honor those people,” she said. “ … It has been an honor to take care of older people and hear their stories.”
Elim Shores Housing Director Jason Nelson has seen that approach firsthand.
“Overall, she always keeps the residents first in her mind and wants to provide the best care for them,” Nelson said. “She loves to laugh and is always so engaged in the feelings of others and trying to make their lives better.”
Nursing Career Comes Full Circle
Throughout her adult life, she has served others as a nurse. While she was still in high school, she completed a nurse’s aide course, with a clinical at a nursing home in a nearby town. That opportunity led her to start nurses training just a few weeks after graduating high school. Though she began her career in a hospital setting, she worked in a number of skilled nursing facilities over the years, including nearly 20 years at one location in Iowa.
After moving to Minnesota, she began working at Haven Homes’ predecessor Bryant House in Maple Plain in 2016, and transitioned to the new community when it opened as a Cassia community in 2020. She is now finishing out her career at Elim Shores.
While the decision to retire has not been easy, Yoder is looking forward to spending more time with her children and grandchildren, as well as traveling to places like Alaska and Israel.