As the holidays approach this year, we are feeling incredibly grateful as a company. To say that the last few years in senior living have not been easy would be, well, a gross understatement. I think we can all admit we had moments of struggle, moments where we implemented the “fake it till we make it” mentality, and honestly moments that might have felt a little hopeless.
One of the advantages, however, was that we saw what we were really made of. As a company, we are privileged to witness just how dedicated and truly selfless those who work in senior care are. This industry, at the heart of it, is about people. People who live in communities but also those who care for them. And while the world may have focused on the negatives of the senior living industry in the past year or so, we got to witness firsthand how so many of our clients stepped up to the plate and truly made positive impacts on the daily lives of their residents and each other. So, during this season of giving, we decided we can no longer keep these stories to ourselves. They deserve, and NEED, to be shared! So please enjoy LifeLoop’s 12 Days of Christmas. Celebrating the good, the beautiful and the selfless side of senior living.
Day 1 – Elegance Senior Living
"Tomas our Maintenance Engineer is amazing! The man is always busy and works so hard to stay on top of everyone’s requests. Tomas is kind and forever patient as he walks us through how to use the remote or take care of a flooded apartment. There is literally nothing Tomas is not able to repair, improve or build from the ground up. Whenever there is an emergency, day or night, he is always quick to come in to make sure our residents are well cared for. Tomas always has a smile on his face and is always there for our team. This kind-hearted man even remembers our birthdays and is always getting them a delicious cake and thoughtful gift and has even purchased TV’s for a couple of staff members in need. We are so blessed to have this great man on our team!"
- Submitted by Teresa Capener, Resident Experience Director at Westworth at East MillCreek
Day 2 – Watermark Retirement Communities
"October could not have come soon enough for these two lovebirds. John and Connie met at Watermark’s Fountains at Crystal Lake on John's first day of moving in.They had an instant connection, and this fall Crystal Lake held a reception to celebrate their love, with a beautiful cake, and surrounded by Watermark family. This happy couple is proof that you are never too old to find true love."
"Maria Barnett is the Community Life Director at Caliche Senior Living and has worked here since the opening in 2017! It means so much to Maria to make sure the residents have a memorable time during the holidays.Her heart is so invested in her residents and staff, and since Christmas is her favorite holiday, she plans a special celebration for everyone that includes gifts, live music, and a lot of fun for her residents! Maria is truly one of a kind!"
- Submitted by Aaryn Brewer, Senior Project Manager at Watermark Retirement Communities
Day 3 – Village Northwest Unlimited
"'Building successful lives through opportunities and choices' is the vision we have shared for over 45 years of providing services to individuals with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. Beginning in July, our residents have been able to experience a new lineup of activities that we have been working on for several months. Many of these activities allow the residents to get out into the community to enjoy their favorite activities such as bowling, fishing, trips to the zoo and many others. Families love seeing all the amazing activities our staff members plan."
- Submitted by Justin Jonas, CPA, Director of Operations at VNU
Day 4 – Westmont Living
"Our Lifestyle Directors at The Oaks at Nipomo are committed to sharing the engagement within our community! They faithfully take attendance, add program photos and utilize all that LifeLoop has to offer. Their dedication is appreciated by their residents and family members! A special thank you to: Christina Rosalinda, Michelle King, Neeta Knare and Sandra Salazar."
- Submitted by Michelle Morales, Regional Director of Lifestyles & Memory Care Programs, Westmont Living
Day 5 – MorningPointe Senior Living
“Our Morning Pointe EDs are one-of-a-kind! And at the Morning Pointe of Russell (KY) campus, Cheryl Stephens leads the pack with a spirit of teamwork, enthusiasm for senior living, and making a happy home for residents! Her associates love her, too. She loves being an executive director, so much so that her biggest fear is not being there someday for her team. ‘I want to be here at Morning Pointe until I'm too old to work!’ says Cheryl.”
- Submitted by Heather Tussing, Chief Operations Officer for MorningPointe Senior Living
Day 6 – Dial Senior Living
"Mindy and Rachel are the Lifestyle Directors at our Overlook Village community. These two ladies really know how to bring the FUN! Every week Mindy and Rachel go above and beyond to infuse happiness into the lives of our residents.From talent shows, to fundraising for a cause, and making music videos with our residents every Monday, there’s never a dull moment! Mindy and Rachel work tirelessly to create a positive and engaging community for our residents each day."
- Submitted by Kirsten Deangelis, Lifestyle & Culture Director, Dial Senior Living
Day 7 – WellQuest Living
"The comradery within our community is remarkable. It isn’t a surprise when we hear how residents are volunteering to pet sit for the neighbor's pooch, water the plants, or create a meal train for a resident's family member that they don’t even know. We have even heard of residents transporting other residents to church in their personal vehicles on Sundays, picking up extra groceries for their neighbors and it doesn’t stop with the residents.”
“Staff has been known to make little gifts for residents to show they care, decorate a residents room to make it more cheery, order takeout from a residents favorite restaurant just because, sew buttons on residents shirts, just all around a close knit family here at WellQuest with residents treating other residents and staff like their own family and vice versa."
- Submitted by Laura Carrillo, Programs Director, Wellquest of Elk Grove
Day 8 – Agemark Senior Living
"All of our communities have risen above unprecedented challenges over the past 18 months to care for and even bring joy to our precious elders. The words that come to mind are resilient and resourceful. Our community teams banded together and rose to the occasion in extraordinary ways."
“Even when they struggled they lifted each other up, sharing both laughter and tears. Agemark’s approach to life enrichment has always been integrated – that it’s everyone’s job – and this was surely demonstrated in 2020-2021."
- Submitted by Marcia Houchin, Life Enrichment Director, Agemark Senior Living
Day 9 – Stellar Senior Living
"Tai, Life Enrichment Director at The Palms at Sun City, is affectionately known as the “Cheerleader” of the community and is the residents’ biggest advocate! Each month she builds a ROBUST and well-rounded activities program that encourages residents to accomplish their life goals and dreams."
"In the coming year, she is taking the residents from The Palms at Sun City on an Alaskan Cruise! This tender-hearted woman has provided top tier events and meaningful opportunities for residents to connect with one another, which has been more than essential throughout the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Tai creates special moments that turn the days into weeks, weeks into months and months into years, memories that will last a lifetime for the residents, their families, and her fellow team members. Tai is a STELLAR employee, we are so fortunate to have her on our team!"
- Submitted by Caitlin Curtis, Assistant Director of Health Services, Stellar Senior Living
Day 10 – Hillcrest Health Services
"The Grand Lodge at Hillcrest Country Estates prides itself on being an active and adventurous community with team members who always put our residents first."
"At the Grand Lodge age is just a number and we pride ourselves on continuing to stay active, always trying new things, and creating a culture of compassion and empathy for everyone who steps in our doors."
- Submitted by Michael Pollock, Director of Lifestyle & Wellness, Hillcrest Health Services
Day 11 – Senior Resource Group
“Throughout the pandemic Narrows Glen, in Tacoma, Washington, stood apart as a community because the staff and residents came together under the “Power of We”. Friendships were strengthened, and they all worked together to make sure the residents continued to stay healthy and thrive even under difficult circumstances.”
"On Earth Day in 2021, Narrows Glen held a tree planting ceremony. A magnolia tree was procured by the Maintenance Department, residents and staff painted dozens upon dozens of rocks depicting resilience and strength."
"Their Executive Director and their Resident Council President gave moving speeches where they spoke of the significance behind the tree planting. They called the Magnolia their “Tribute Tree” because it honors something that has impacted their lives in a very meaningful way, and because it is a tribute to what we can do together. "
- Submitted by Eric Dobner, Regional ZEST Director, Senior Resource Group
Day 12 – Avamere Health Services
“When I think of Hannah I think of our core value of passion for the quality of people’s lives. She is so passionate about quality of life for our residents and she also understands that quality of life for one resident might mean something completely different to another resident. I wish I could figure out how to clone her so we could have one of her in all of our memory care communities.”
- Submitted by Sara Sutherland, Director of Education, Avamere Living Community-Based Care
Day 13 – Blog Bonus – Cascadia Senior Living & Fieldstone Communities