By Jill Poser – Kammet, CGCM
Mentors: A Window Into The World
National Grandparents Day may not be a national holiday but for me it is a very meaningful day! I am the youngest granddaughter of seventeen grandchildren on my Dad’s side and the third of four on my Mom’s side. I had the blessing of growing up with a big extended family and all four of my grandparents throughout my childhood into my early 30’s.
Each grandparent gave me a window into a world I had never lived in and through their personal strength and life experiences gave me a sense of self, a sense of purpose and a family legacy that I have drawn upon throughout my life.
Each one understood there was something bigger than themselves and each had a strong sense of responsibility and commitment to family. Each one set the tone that we all looked out for each other and so as they got older, we all understood that it was our time to take care of them.
Inspiration Through The Generations
My Dad is the youngest of seven children. He is first generation American, born to parents that fled Russia by way of Europe and ultimately made their way to America through Ellis Island. Originally, my Zadie came to America without his wife and five children and worked tirelessly for five years until he made enough money for the visas required to bring them to America from Europe. Once reunited in America, they quickly had two more children, my uncle and my Dad. Many men came to America without their families and did not work to bring their families over. What was it about this man, my Zadie, to have the strength of character to be clear in his intentions and keep his family together?
My Mom is the older of two daughters born to first generation Americans; my Grandma and Grandpa. They were each other’s partner and worked together for many years to build their own business. In the early years, my Grandpa moonlighted as a saxophone player in a band to bring in extra money. By today’s standard, my Grandma would be considered a working Mom juggling work, home and raising children. She could be considered ahead of her time in that she had an understanding of their financial wherewithal and was not afraid to speak her mind. My Grandpa was considered a good businessman and always had a kind heart. He made certain his older brother with special needs had a job throughout his life and was always taken care of. It was a commitment he made to his mother and my Grandma accepted as their norm. They worked six days a week for many years and the seventh day was so often dedicated to spending time with their family. What was it about them that they had the fortitude and the intention to make their way always mindful of their responsibility to their family?
Finding A Calling
I realize now so clearly that it was no accident I chose to redirect my career by stepping into the senior space and help people age with grace and dignity; first by becoming a Certified Aging-In-Place-Specialist through the NAHB and shortly thereafter going back to school to become a Certified Geriatric Care Manager and it is certainly no accident that my very first care management client shared the same first name as my Grandpa!
Four ordinary people taught me extraordinary life skills, provided unconditional love and support, perhaps gave me a little better insight into my own parents and quietly guided just by being themselves. They were not perfect people but they were magical in my life and I will forever be grateful.
- Who do you inspire?
- Who are the mentors in your own life?
- How have your mentors shaped and inspired the trajectory of your career?
Jill Poser–Kammet, CGCM, is Director of Life Care Planning at Advocare, a comprehensive care management company serving all South Florida from the Palm Beaches to Miami. Jill is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager by the International Commission on Health Care Certification with 12 years of experience in elder care, care management, life care planning, Medicare home health sales, special needs, and aging-in-place construction. For more information about Jill and how she can help you and your family call (954) 604-1015, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or look for her at Facebook or LinkedIn.