Julie Farmer is the kind of person you like on sight. Her unmistakable warmth and energy draws people in and her conversations are filled with humor and compassion. She’s the sales manager for independent living residences at Meth-Wick where her charismatic personality works wonders battling the misperceptions prospective residents bring to campus.
“Seniors today are more active and independent than ever before but they don’t think of senior living communities as places where they can be active and independent. It’s my job to open their eyes.”
Julie spends her time with prospective residents listening to their goals and plans, sharing information about Meth-Wick’s styles of living, and answering questions about what this move will mean for their lives. It’s a good gig for someone who has spent her career taking care of the people around her.
Julie studied community health education and gerontology during her undergrad years and worked at a retirement community and a hospital in Chicago before earning her MBA in hospital and health administration. After completing her graduate degree, she took an opportunity as an administrative resident in health administration at a medical center in New Orleans and later in Dallas. She soon started her family and spent several years raising her three children and teaching yoga classes. During that time, she got connected with Chris Madsen, a sales manager at Meth-Wick.
“Chris saw my resume and said Meth-Wick could be a perfect fit for me,” Julie said. “I had young kids at the time so it wasn’t the right moment — but we kept in touch. Ten years later, Chris reached out to let me know she was retiring and she hadn’t forgotten my resume. At that point, my kids were grown and I was ready for a new challenge.”
And Julie has tackled that new challenge head on. Seniors today are different than the seniors she worked with early in her career. She describes the baby boomers she meets as well-informed and assertive. They’re excited about their future and looking forward to the experiences they plan to have in retirement.
“When I talk to potential residents, they are often looking for a paradigm shift,” Julie shared. “Many of them had to make tough decisions when their parents got older and fell ill, moving them to care facilities and selling their houses. They don’t want that traumatic situation for themselves or their children. Most seniors today are healthy and independent and want to stay that way as long as they can — I get to show them how Meth-Wick makes that possible.”
Just as Julie describes, living independently at Meth-Wick truly is independent. When a resident moves into their Meth-Wick home, they’re in control. They get to select the modifications that will be made in their residence and Meth-Wick puts all the changes in place before move-in day. They even get to choose their cable provider. There’s no one to check in with when they come and go from campus and no one to tell them where they have to eat dinner that night. They join a community of peers with similar goals and plans for this stage of their lives. It’s living the life they want to live, without all the yardwork and maintenance that comes with owning a home.
To Julie, her job is about more than helping people find their dream homes, it’s about showing them a community where they can build their best lives. It’s a pretty good way to spend a day in the office.