This week we celebrate National Activity Professionals Week by taking a moment to honor our amazing Personal Expression Managers, Memory Care Programming Managers and Memory Care Programming Assistants at our various communities.
Taking the time, day in and day out, to focus on enriching the lives of our residents by promoting overall wellness through physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual engagement these associates support our social model and vision to love, honor and provide in the quality of life for our residents.
Today we honor our Carlton Senior Living Elk Grove community by recognizing our Personal Expression Manager Samantha Goll as well as our Memory Care Programming Manager Kayla Frasier.
Both Samantha and Kayla are proud of the strides they have made together in breaking down the barriers between assisted living and memory care activities. They have united to try and find new and creative ways to combine activities and really focus on building the relationships among all residents. By removing the stigma of Memory Care they both support the vision of seeing activities as one community instead of it being viewed as; Assisted Living and Memory Care, two separate entities.
Even before Samantha started working at Carlton Senior Living she wanted to work in some sort of activities field. She was attending college at Cosumnes River College studying Child Development in the hopes of becoming a Child Life Specialist, which as she states, “is a fancy way of saying I wanted to be an activities coordinator in children’s hospitals.” Since beginning her journey at Carlton Senior Living in 2014, Samantha has held various positions that have helped her to diversify herself as a professional. Over the course of 5 years she has worked as a member of our Waitstaff, one of our Director of First Impressions, a Memory Care Programming Assistant, a Waitstaff Shift Lead and ultimately was promoted to Personal Expressions Manager in October of 2017. The main thing that Samantha loves about being a Personal Expressions Manager is the opportunity to help the residents enjoy life to the fullest, living their best lives every opportunity available. As she has coined her role the “party person,” she gets the chance to throw events that the residents, their families and the associates can experience together as one big Carlton family. Samantha’s life motto would have to be “I never look back darling, it distracts from the now”. This is a constant reminder for her to be more present in all aspects of life: with her family, her friends, her staff, and especially with our residents! Samantha thank you for all the joy, creativity and passion you bring to our residents, their families and associates. You are appreciated!
Our Memory Care Programming Manager Kayla Frasier recalls visiting her Great Grandfather every day when he lived at a Senior Living community in her hometown. She can remember how intrigued she was by all the people she met during her visits and the stories they shared. She played BINGO and painted with a resident who was 100 years old which she, at the time, felt that was unheard of. She recounted the day with her mom as if this resident was the only 100 year old in the world. Every visit thereafter when her mom would call out that it was “time to go visit papa” Kayla would be the first to hop in the car, she thought it was the neatest thing, being 100.
Kayla began her career with Carlton, being hired full time to fill some of her hours as a Memory Care Personal Care Aide and the rest as a Memory Care Programming Assistant. This balance gave her the chance to build rapport and trust by creating relationships with the residents, their families and her coworkers. Having held the roles before hand, she established her ability to be a team player and gained the respect and support from everyone around her. She worked both positions from the time of hire in August 2017 until she was promoted in November 2018 to Programming Manager. Her favorite part of being a Programming Manager is waking up in the morning with the affirmation that she loves her job. This passion makes it never hard to get out of bed because she knows she is going to go and do something fun and meaningful with the residents. Kayla’s life motto is “be the person you’d want to be around.”
In Kayla’s words, “When people think of Memory Care, I imagine they think of a dark place where the progression of Alzheimer’s and Dementia take over, leaving no room for creativity or personality. In actuality residents are thriving, because of people like my coworkers and myself that take time to bond with them and assist them not only in their activities of daily living but in developing new talents, hobbies and even sides of their personalities that have yet to be seen. Memory Care is a place for people to grow stronger as individuals and families. I see amazing things happen every day. There is one thing Alzheimer’s cannot take away and that is love. Love is not a memory- it’s a feeling that resides in your heart and soul. I am passionate about my position and am determined to break down that barrier that separates Memory Care from the rest of the world.”
Kayla thank you for all the joy, creativity and passion you bring to our residents, their families and associates. You are appreciated!