Renee Benson | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Renee Benson
Programming Coordinator, Bellevue Retirement Community

Today’s featured nominee was not only recognized for having a heart of caring, but also a “heart of gold” that sets her apart on a daily basis. Meet Renee Benson, a programming coordinator at Bellevue Retirement Community with a commitment to caring for residents as though they were her own grandparents.

“We truly could not say enough about Renee and her tremendously big heart.” “Renee is like the energizer bunny – she keeps moving even on the though days when it isn’t easy because you’re having a bad day. We feel she has earned the respect of residents and staff and continues to prove herself daily.”

Renee’s care and compassion extends not only to the residents she cares for, but also to her staff team. After several years on the Bellevue staff team, Renee has served in multiple departments, offering her a unique opportunity to support all her team mates with a positive spirit that regularly inspires her peers.

“She often wears many hats and always has a positive attitude while doing so. Renee is also very team-oriented and switches her schedule around to help out her co-workers even if it’s not in her department.” “Renee’s strength truly motivates the rest of the staff in every department. She displays to other the ability to encourage residents to join multiple activities that they otherwise might not have joined.”

In her current programming role, Renee thrives on her interactions with residents, selflessly scheduling and executing activities that truly enrich their lives and bringing a level of excitement and enthusiasm that generates participation and community growth at Bellevue. From breathing life into calling Bingo to hosting .comseniors classes to connect residents with great-grandchildren they’d previously never met, Renee goes out of her way to meet resident needs – even if it’s on her day off.

“An outing to visit the planetarium had been scheduled on a weekend and one of the vehicles that was being used to transport residents had an issue. Renee just so happened to be in the gas station that we had pulled into; [she was] just running in to get milk because she was out at home. After explaining what had happened, Renee’s response was ‘Give me 15 minutes to run home and change.’ Renee returned and took the residents to the planetarium as scheduled. Renee gave up her day off in a few seconds to make sure the residents didn’t miss an opportunity to spend an afternoon out and about.”

Thank you for your commitment to caring for our residents, Renee. Your heart of caring shines through in all you do, and we are excited to congratulate you on this well-deserved nomination.

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Val Riggins | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Val Riggins
Maintenance Assistant, Bella Terra

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then this one is a perfect representation of the first thing Val Riggens’ team mates notice about him: his smile. Val is a Maintenance Assistant at Bella Terra, and his positive spirit and joyful heart earned him a nomination for this year’s Heart of Caring award.

“Val goes beyond his job duties every day and always works with a smile.” “He is always smiling from ear to ear.”

“Val cares about the residents and will do anything for them to make them happy; Val is honest – he always does the right thing. Val shows appreciation for his fellow coworkers and superiors, and is always respectful to residents, guests and staff. Val is a team player; he enjoys helping others succeed.”

Val’s cheerful attitude extends not only to his duties as a maintenance assistant, but also to the various tasks he takes on to help in any way possible, even outside the community walls where he volunteers as a community youth counselor.

“During a recent snow storm Val came to the community the day before his shift to ensure that he would be at the community to assist with whatever needed to be done. You never have to ask Val, he just appears when you need a helping hand.”

But perhaps the greatest sign of Val’s heart of caring was his excitement for his first day on the job at Bella Terra.

“When Val started at Bella Terra, he [stated] during his orientation that he was so appreciative that he had been chosen to work at Bella Terra. It was very heartfelt and he made all of the new hires in the orientation feel that this was a very special community to have been chosen to work at. He also stated that He was looking forward to meeting all of the residents in the community and helping them.”

“When Val received his name badge, he asked his supervisor to take a picture of him because he was so proud of his name badge. He wanted to share the picture with his daughter because it was her birthday.”

Just as Val was proud to wear his name badge, we’re proud to call Val a Senior Lifestyle team member. Thank you, Val, for the way you care for our residents with such a positive spirit and a true heart of caring. Congratulations on the nomination; we’re thrilled to celebrate you during our 100 Days of Heart of Caring!

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Tom Bouse | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Tom Bouse
Transportation Driver, Autumn Green at Midway Village

Every workplace has individuals who serve well beyond their requirements. At Autumn Green at Midway Village, that individual is Tom Bouse, whose heart of caring compels him to go out of his way to serve the residents and staff and earned him a nomination for our Heart of Caring award.

“Tom’s exceptional attributes of caring and attention to detail make him an outstanding employee and friend. He often goes above and beyond his line of work, happily accommodating our residents by often making multiple rounds to and from various destinations.”

Tom not only models our core value of caring, but also actively seeks to incorporate our other four CHART values into his daily tasks: honesty, appreciation, respect and teamwork.

“Tom maintains positive relationships with all members of our community, whether it is residents, staff or guests. He always treats everyone with respect and calls residents by their full names. He always takes the time to show his appreciation and point out a job well done by others. He makes sure to communicate any questions or concerns with management to ensure smooth operation of the facility.”

Tom’s team mates actively notice his positive energy and cheerful spirit, but they aren’t the only ones impacted by his heart of caring. Tom’s heart of caring enables him to forge meaningful connections with the residents he interacts with, consistently brightening their days.

“Tom enriches our residents’ lives by talking to them and really listening to see if there is something he can help them with. He always comes to work with a smile on his face. That outgoing personality always brings a smile to the residents’ faces he comes in contact with.”

“He assists everyone in getting their groceries on and off the bus and he cleans the bus inside and out because he has pride in what he does.”

Thank you, Tom, for the care and intentionality you bring to your role. We are honored to celebrate this well-deserved nomination and grateful to have your heart of caring on the Senior Lifestyle team!

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Angela Osborn | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Angela Osborn
CNA, Brookstone Estates of Robinson

Angela Osborn is one of several team members who spend their days caring for the residents at Brookstone Estates of Robinson. What sets Angela apart is the respect, honesty, teamwork, appreciation and heart of caring she displays as she goes through her day.

“The residents, their families and the staff know that Angie goes above and over to help in any way she can. She always takes the time to do the little extras that the resident wants; she is always doing things to help the next shift. She comes in early and stays late, if need be.”

Angela’s caring heart has been at Brookstone Estates of Robinson for nearly 16 years, and through all that time Angela has demonstrated a commitment to whatever she can do to not only model best-in-class care for her residents, but also for her team mates.

“Angie exhibits her dedication daily for our residents to her staff. She has the ability to find solutions to all kind of problems that may arise. She has a kind and loving heart that helps her support every department and resident in our community.”

While Angela has demonstrated her heart of caring on countless occasions, one in particular stood out to her team mates.

“It was a few years ago. In the middle of the night, we had a sprinkler head break in one of the apartment’s closet. In the middle of the fire department, people from the sprinkler company and carpet people, Angie made sure that the residents’ pictures and other special things got out and were safe. She was there to reassure the residents that all would be okay while cleaning up water deep enough that house shoes were floating in the halls. I’m so proud of Angie and happy to have her on our team.”

We are, too. Thank you, Angela, for all you do for our residents and our team; we’re honored to have your heart of caring at Senior Lifestyle.

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Tony Sovian | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Tony Sovian
Activities Director, The Pointe at Kirby Gate

We’re one week’s worth of nominees into our 100 Days of Heart of Caring, and today we’re featuring a very special nominee from The Pointe at Kirby Gate. Tony Sovian, Activities Director, has actively spent 18 years of his career in the senior living industry, and his passion for caring clearly demonstrates why he earned a nomination.

“His caring attitude is exemplified by his love for his residents and passion for activities. Our residents’ lives are enriched by Tony’s caring attitude.”

Tony may be responsible for executing the program of activities for all the residents, but it’s the unplanned interactions and activities that truly demonstrate the depth of his heart of caring.

“Tony is extremely involved in our residents’ lives. He takes the time to listen to our residents, as well as keep them happy and active with the personalized activities he initiates. Tony stays after dinner to play cards with our residents; he does not leave his job until he knows all of our residents are happy and satisfied.”

The connects Tony forges with the residents at the Pointe at Kirby Gate don’t stop at evening cards; Tony has been known to treat the residents he interacts with as if they were his own family members to care for.

“Tony has a special gift with communicating and relating to our residents. He becomes part of our residents’ families. He attends birthday parties, anniversaries, and has given eulogies for his residents. Tony has no boundaries for caring!”

Congratulations on a well-deserved nomination for Senior Lifestyle’s prestigious Heart of Caring award, Tony. Thank you for allowing your heart of caring to take such impeccable care of our residents – we’re honored to have you on our team!

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Kim Koppert | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Kim Koppert
Director of Programming, Andara

Kim Koppert is a Director of Programming whose daily activities have caring programmed into every aspect. Kim’s hard work coordinating and developing activities programs for the residents at Andara earned her multiple nominations from her peers for the heart of caring she displays on a daily basis.

“[Kim} exemplifies all of the core values within CHART, but I truly believe Caring is her strongest strength. When a new resident moves to Andara, she instantly incorporates events and activities that have always been important to them. She makes our residents feel like they don’t have to change or lose a part of themselves during this life-changing transitions, which is so empowering and pivotal to our residents’ happiness.”

“I know there are many submissions, but I doubt that many have Kim’s heart and compassion.” “She knows everything about every single resident and their families. She makes sure there is something that every resident (even brand new residents) will enjoy doing.”

Kim is not only intentional about getting to know new residents, but also in making sure she makes time to care for new team members.

“I am still a relatively new SL employee and I have been grateful to be working with such a dedicated leader and champion of the residents’ lifestyles. I have looked up to Kim as an unofficial mentor since I arrived at Andara. She amazes me with the amount of time she spends involving the staff and incorporating everyone into community activities. She promotes ‘community’.”

Kim’s kindness and compassion extend to all the residents she interacts with, but one in particular whose family has been especially touched by Kim’s heart of caring.

“We have a resident that is 100 years old who has declining health at the moment… Kim made sure that she got to every doctor appointment, every outing that she signed up for, spent time with her family, etc. Approaching the holiday season 2015 this resident became very ill and was away from the community for a long time. The resident was able to return right before the holiday party and Kim made sure that she was dressed up and in attendance. The resident’s eyes and smile were so bright and lit up the whole room.”

Many thanks to Kim for her commitment to caring for our residents and staff with such intentionality and compassion; her Heart of Caring nomination is well-deserved!

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Carleen Armstrong | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Carleen Armstrong
Concierge, Blossom Valley

Today’s featured nominee exemplifies all of Senior Lifestyle’s core values, but her caring and compassion toward the residents and staff at Blossom Valley are what earned her recognition. Carleen Armstrong juggles several hats and tasks throughout her day, but always with a smile on her face and a sense of compassion for everyone she encounters.

“Each and every day Carleen makes everyone around her feel taken care of.” “She always has a smile, a kind gesture, sympathetic rod or a listening ear to offer when residents, families or staff need her.”

Carleen’s intentional pursuit of care and warmth remains constant regardless of the situation, and her positive attitude inspires her fellow team mates to do the same.

“She may begin her day as a Concierge but by the end of the day she has probably worked on the floor, helped in the kitchen ans spoken to the doctors offices or families. She will help in any department if they need assistance.” “Carleen makes sure all the caregivers have what they need for their shift. Her role modeling is shown by showing everyone we can all step in to help.”

Her compassion and heart of genuine care shines through not only her staff intereactions, but her connections to the residents, as well.

“We have a resident that at times is confused and cries.” “Whether she is locked out of her room, missing her son, realizing she is losing her memory or is just distraught, Carleen is there with a Kleenex, extra hugs, a shoulder to cry on and an ear for listening.”

Many thanks to you, Carleen, for your amazing dedication to best-in-class care (and caring!) for our residents. Your compassion and care is evident in all you do, and we’re honored to have you as part of our team!

“Carleen is such a great young woman who is absolutely a team player, dependable, has respect for all around her, she is honest…She is a true Heart of Caring winner in my book.”

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Tiara Marshall | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Tiara Marshall
Caregiver, the Pavilion at Great Hills

There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’, but there is an individual at Pavilion at Great Hills whose teamwork and heart of caring earned her a nomination. Tiara Marshall, one of Pavilion’s caregivers, received recognition for the can-do attitude and support she models each and every day.

“Tiara will always help in any department if assistance is needed. Her coworkers enjoy working on her shift; she is always in a great, positive mood. She is a great example for her coworkers; the residents love her, she gives each one special attention.”

Tiara’s ability to act as a role model is another key component in the way she cares for not just the residents, but also her fellow team mates.

“She is a leader. She trains the staff to be compassionate and patient with residents. She will help encourage residents to do daily activities.”

Her heart of caring earned her a spot in one resident’s heart in particular prior to his passing.

“She assisted him with everything. He knew when she wasn’t at work and looked for her. They developed a friendship; his family looked at her as part of the family.”

Thank you, Tiara, for all you hard work to provide the residents at the Pavilion with a safe, warm environment where they truly feel like part of the family. Your heart of caring has earned you a well-deserved nomination!

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

Jimmy Luttman | 100 Days of Heart of Caring

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Jimmy Luttman
Maintenance, Atrium Village

“When I think of [Senior Lifestyle’s] five core values, I can’t think of just one value that particularly sticks out because, frankly, Jimmy embraces all of them.”

High praise for today’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring spotlight on Jimmy Luttman who works in Maintenance at Atrium Village. Jimmy’s quiet heart of caring touches all who come in contact with him.

“Jimmy cares deeply about all of the residents. There is no resident request that is too small or too large – he understands that he will not leave that repair or task without the resident being completely satisfied. But his concern and his work goes deeper than that; by example, he consistently shows great respect for every resident in our building.”

By nature of Jimmy’s role, he’s often one of the first team members residents meet when they move in, but his can-do attitude keeps him at the top of residents’ minds and hearts.

“Jimmy’s attention to detail ensures that all maintenance issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently. But interestingly, residents seem to make multiple requests, often times for the same problem. Why? Because they seek his friendship, his patience and his never-ending upbeat demeanor. Simply put: They feel better; they feel safe when he enters their apartment to solve their problem.”

This same can-do, positive attitude served Jimmy well when Atrium Village had what you might call a “flood” of maintenance problems.

“Back in early September, Atrium Village suffered not one, but two major floods that destroyed the walls and the floors of both the Independent and Assisted Living Dining rooms…Three weeks before Thanksgiving, our Director of Maintenance and Jimmy set a plan into motion where we would rebuild (internally)…so all of our residents and family members could enjoy the holiday in a homelike setting. Jimmy worked tirelessly prepping the walls and the floors so these two large rooms would be ready… Not only was the room ready for the holiday, but through Jimmy’s efforts and vision, our community stayed well within budget.”

We’d like to congratulate Jimmy on receiving this very well-deserved nomination for our prestigious Heart of Caring award. Thank you for all your hard work and the heart of caring you demonstrate to the residents and families you help care for.

This spotlight is part of Senior Lifestyle’s 100 Days of Heart of Caring series featuring nominees from our 170+ communities across the country. All nominations are anonymous. Our nominees represent the backbone of our commitment to our core values: Caring, Honesty, Appreciation, Respect and Teamwork; without them, we could never fulfill our goal of providing best-in-class care to every one of our residents. Join us as we celebrate these caring, passionate individuals and their commitment to our residents.

What is Memory Care?

Posted by in Programs.

As general knowledge and awareness of conditions causing memory impairment increases, more and more caregivers and decision makers are becoming familiar with memory care as an option of care for their loved ones. However, many know about memory care communities in name only, and more still are entirely unaware that this specialized care option exists at all. To that end, we’re going to explore the topic and provide some simple answers to the frequently asked question of “What is memory care?”

Memory care communities, like those you’ll find from Senior Lifestyle, start from the assumption that those who are living with conditions that affect memory and behavior, like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, both need and deserve a specially designed form of care. In light of this fact, memory care communities build upon the foundation of assisted living facilities and then provide residents with additional services that can improve quality of life and provide a safe living environment.

For example, one of the unique challenges of caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s is that of wandering. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six in ten people with dementia will wander, which can potentially put this person in serious danger.[1] The use of technology like Intel-GE Care Innovations QuietCare can make sure that community staff members are able to respond as quickly as possible to a memory care resident’s wandering.

Memory care communities can also tailor their daily program offerings in order to help keep those with memory-impairment engaged. At Senior Lifestyle, we help and encourage residents to reconnect through programs that include activities that they love, whether that’s playing the piano, gardening, or art creation. In addition to these programs, memory care communities consult with residents’ families to ensure the best possible level of care is received by each and every member of our communities. Senior Lifestyle’s award winning Walk with Me Program takes that partnership and communication one step further by providing families with the comfort of knowing that their transition into a memory care community will be successful.