Some call her an icon in the long-term care industry.
To others, she is a marketing guru.
But for seniors from Iowa to Arizona who have ever called one of her long-term care residences home, Joey Arnold has been a godsend.
After nearly 40 years in the industry and nearly retired at age 74, the Goodyear resident has sold all but one.
An 85-bed assisted living community in Iowa where it all began.
Joey Arnold and her husband Bill recently visited her sole remaining facility, Senior Suites of Urbandale near Des Moines, to catch up with residents and staff. She was also there to emcee a style show and host a Mother’s Day Tea for residents.
She designed Senior Suites to be a special place of caring, always inspiring her staff to go the extra mile.
One resident pulled her aside to tell her that she feels she has been living at a resort over the past four years of her residency.
Joey Arnold has been a licensed Long Term Care Administrator since 1976.
“While I was there, an older man—a farmer—had just moved in,” she said in a phone interview. “The first couple days he just sobbed. He missed his dog so much.”
She personally tried to comfort him; then suggested a staff member get him a plush animal close to the same size as his dog to keep him company – even if it wasn’t a live pet.
It’s that hands-on style as an administrator that has earned her respect in the industry.
“Joey has had a lifetime commitment to long-term care,” Kathleen Collins Pagels, executive director of the Arizona Health Care Association. AHCA is the state’s largest long term care association and advocacy organization, representing skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities.
She added: “Joey has an energy and focus that is so rare in people. She has the ability to focus on the right care, at the right time, at the right place.”
It has been nearly forty years since Joey Arnold left a 10-year stint at teaching kindergarten, second grade and music in Iowa to build a career in the long term care industry. She began as activities director and trainer. But soon after began to build, own and operate long-term care facilities in the Midwest and Arizona. And she has long been active in marketing and trade organizations.
“Teaching children provided a perfect transition for working with the aging population,” she said.
In 1998, Joey Arnold sold everything except for Senior Suites and brought her expertise to Arizona, building Palm Valley Rehabilitation & Care Center in Goodyear in 1999.
In 2010, the Palm Valley Center was recognized as one of the “Best Nursing Homes” in Arizona by U.S. News & World Report. It was also named recipient of the 2008 Arizona Health Care Innovation Award.
Pagels calls Joey Arnold as an extraordinary advocate for people who need skilled nursing and assisted living care.
“I’ve walked along side Joey in the halls of Congress, at silent auctions, and with policy work,” she said. “She is capable in all arenas and has single handedly helped the Arizona Health Care Association with the silent auction; seniors in nursing homes; by promoting scholarships for staff members in nursing homes and assisted living; and with fundraising.”
Last November, Joey Arnold sold her last interest in Palm Valley Rehabilitation & Care Center. She continues to keep a pulse on communities in Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Avondale.
She continues to reach out to those in need.
“My husband and I moved to an active adult 55+ community in Goodyear from our home in Palm Valley,” she said. “Each neighborhood within the community has a group of volunteers organized to care for neighbors’ needs—perhaps a meal to support someone whose spouse is in the hospital or transportation. It’s truly a wonderful environment.”
The 50 residents within her particular “neighborhood” are called “Kare Bears.” As leader, Joey Arnold is affectionately known as “Mama Kare Bear.”
Add that to the list of icon, guru and godsend.
“My whole life I have felt I was put on this earth to make people as happy and comfortable as possible,” she said.
Looks like she’s done a darn good job of it.
By Pat Whitney
The Krone Team
Keith & Cheryl Krone
623-337-8277 | email@example.com
Creating Seamless Transition Solutions
Keith and Cheryl Krone, licensed real estate agents for more than 33 years and licensed brokers for three decades, take a personal interest in helping mature home buyers and sellers find the Arizona senior lifestyle tailored closest to their needs. Whether making a local or long distance move, the Krones are transition specialists at guiding their clients to Arizona’s 55+ active adult communities, multi-generational and maintenance-free properties, and residences with specialized care in the Phoenix area. Keith and Cheryl are among a select few Arizona real estate experts to achieve the prestigious designation of Certified Senior Housing Professional by The Seniors Real Estate Institute after a successful completion of the Institute’s rigorous curriculum and testing program.