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Jolie Kitzke talking to a resident

Jolie Kitzke is the Director of Nursing at the Grand Hills Castle and is quickly coming up on five years with Castle Senior Living. With over 25 years of experience, as a nurse (LPN and RN) and director, we thought we’d sit down with her and learn a bit more.

What do you enjoy most about being Director of Nursing?
The Castle Senior Living team! We have great administration, and the owners are very much involved. Everyone wants to do what is best for our residents and are open to new ideas. If things aren’t working quite right, we try different things to ensure we are doing our best to make sure our residents get the best care. I can talk to anyone on the team and know that I’m heard.

Castle Senior Living truly does a great job serving their residents and communities. I’ve been around a long time and worked in a variety of places and I’m proud to be on this team.

What made you want to go into the field of nursing?
When I was growing up, I lived with my grandma every now and then. My great grandma lived with her and had home care nurses at the time. That was intriguing to me as a child and I loved what they did for her. I think that is what inspired me to become a nurse.

What told you that serving aging adults was the right fit for you?
Throughout my 25 years of experience, I’ve always served the geriatric population. That is where my heart has always been. I like to work with vulnerable populations who can’t always speak for themselves. I enjoy being a critical thinker and try to figure out the puzzle – especially when residents can’t always tell us what’s going on. It is much different than seeing a 30-year-old who comes in and tells you my ear is hurting because my tooth is infected. Instead, you really need to dive in to figure out what’s going on.

What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
Professionally, I like spending time with our dementia residents. I enjoy the challenge and try to put preventative measures into place. If we can address issues right away, we can then prevent larger, more critical issues from arising. I have a sharp eye for catching and addressing things before people show signs of illness.

On the personal side of things, I like helping people who are having a hard time. My grandson is autistic. He’s doing great, but in the beginning it was difficult. That has resulted in a passion for this area and being very involved with my family – especially as a grandmother.

Do you have any secret talents?
Not sure if this qualifies as a secret talent, but I’m a stage 3 uterine cancer survivor. I fought that battle about 6 years ago. Still doing good!

I also enjoy thrifting and antiquing.