A niche is defined as a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted. Jo Simpkins has found that special place at Skyline Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Floyd, Virginia, where she has been working since 2011. When Jo first started at Skyline, she worked in the kitchen and also served as the receptionist. Prior to that, Jo worked in a hospital where she was a CNA and a unit clerk.

Jo knew that she loved working at Skyline, but felt like she did not have enough time with the residents with her earlier job responsibilities. That desire to spend more time connecting with residents drove Jo to explore where her best fit would be at Skyline. She finally found her home as an activities assistant. Now, she gets to spend more one-on-one time with the residents so she can get to know them better.

Jo looks forward to coming to work each day to see her residents, who she says feel like family. Jo’s favorite activities are those where she can be outside in the warm weather with the residents. “You learn so much by sitting with the residents and listening to them,” she tells us. One of the biggest challenges of her job is working with the dementia residents, which can sometimes be heartbreaking. She said that it is difficult seeing the disease progress so quickly in some patients. She feels bad for them and their families.

“You learn so much by sitting with the residents and listening to them.”

The energetic activities team is another favorite aspect of Jo’s job, and she appreciates the “great bunch of ladies” who work with her in the department. In particular, she extends her thanks to Becca Ramey and Kayla Weeks. She told us that her boss, Becca, encourages her and gives her plenty of support. Later, Becca told us, “She (Jo) isn’t someone who seeks attention for the job she does around here. I’m very blessed to have the assistants that I have!  I’ve been doing this for a lot of years and these two are some the of the best I have worked with.”

All of Consulate’s Core Values are important to Jo, and she tries to live them out every day at work. She told us “Compassion is necessary. You must have empathy.” Now that Jo has found her home in activities, she would like to continue to work there for a long time to come.

In her free time, Jo loves to be with her husband and grandchildren, cook, and go horseback riding.

Thank you Jo for your gift of compassion that you share each day at Skyline!