Carlton Celebrates Women: Roiee Innovates & Inspires
Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s vital role in shaping our world’s history. It’s a time to reflect on the achievements of all women, including those who help our residents feel at home in our communities every day. One such woman is Roiee Dunham, Assisted Living Activities Manager for Carlton Senior Living’s Sacramento campus.
Working in senior living has taught Roiee a lot about life and aging.
“I’ve learned that even though people are older, they still enjoy great experiences, and I try my best to do that for them,” says Roiee. Fueled by her creativity and drive to deliver the best programs, Roiee has accomplished that and more. “She inspires others by her creativeness in all she does,” says Sherrilynn Geban, Carlton’s Memory Care Activities Director.
Roiee creates resident-driven experiences that defy age stereotypes.
“She’s never been one to place the typical assumptions around our seniors that others might—as in shutting down possibilities based on what we think this generation or population may or may not be open to,” says Kasie Wimmer, Executive Director of Carlton Senior Living Sacramento. “Instead, she creates pitches she presents to the residents to elicit their feedback and interest and is then able to move forward with new experiences for them.”
“When Roiee worked at Carlton Senior Living Davis as a driver, she created ‘Going Rogue with Roiee,’ a monthly mystery outing,” says Jessalyn Eernisse, Director of Assisted Living Activities. “Interested residents would be told the date, time, and a few helpful clues (like if special attire was needed), but not where they were going or what they would be doing. Upon departure, residents would learn of the adventure that awaited them. Trips included wine tasting in Napa, attending a taping of Good Day Sacramento, and touring the studio, and a local candy shop where they learned how to make candies and made their own chocolate treats. ‘Going Rogue with Roiee’ is a perfect example of Roiee’s ability to think outside the box. Our residents are lucky to have an activities director with her creativity, enthusiasm, and knack for helping others have a good time!”
The impact of Roiee’s innovative approach to activities like her resident-version of Carlton University has genuinely enhanced the lives of Carlton’s residents.
“She’s dreamt up and piloted programs for the residents here in Sacramento that have become so successful, they’re now evolving and stretching across the company,” says Kasie. In March 2023, the scope of Carlton University, our in-house training and continuing education program for employees, expanded to include monthly classes for residents.
When asked how society’s perception of women has changed during her lifetime, Roiee shared that she’s on the fence. “Women have made a lot of strides for rights, but there is so much to be done.”
Roiee’s grandmothers, Alice Ridge, Lee Turner, and Ocie Dunham, have influenced and inspired her throughout her life.
Her grandmothers’ influence demonstrates the importance of intergenerational relationships and the power of female role models. When asked about her advice for later generations of women, she emphasized the importance of not letting others define what it means to be a woman. Whether someone wants to be adventurous or pursue a different path, they should do so without fear of judgment or criticism.
Among Roiee’s proudest accomplishments is receiving her certification in Group Fitness.
She pursued the certification to motivate those who are overweight to exercise and feel comfortable while doing so. This achievement is another example of Roiee’s passion and dedication to helping others. “She’s a dreamer and is often encouraging both our residents and us to dream alongside her,” says Kasie.