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Heroes Work Here Stories RECOGNIZING THE EFFORTS OF THE HEROIC SENIOR LIVING WORKFORCE DURING COVID-19

HEROES AMONG US

At Argentum, we recognize the tremendous dedication and care exhibited by those who work at senior living communities all across the country. Senior living associates have a special passion for helping their residents live their best lives. During the challenges brought on by COVID-19, that passion was never more apparent. Senior living associates went above and beyond each and every day to ensure the safety and well-being of their residents through unique and enhanced services and activities. Here, you'll see a showcase of associate stories from across the industry. If you'd like to submit a story for consideration, please click the button below.

More than 1 million dedicated and compassionate associates across senior living worked tirelessly to keep residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some of their stories.

Photo courtesy of Civitas Senior Living

Tashara Leaky had been planning her dream wedding at a Caribbean villa for nearly two years when COVID-19 hit. Just months before the nuptials, the pandemic turned the world upside down and Tashara knew she had to focus on her residents and fellow associates. She put her wedding on hold so she could be where she was needed – with her residents.

“That example of her dedication tells you everything you need to know about Tashara,” said Executive Director Bonnie Pollard-Johnson. “We are blessed to have her serving our residents and working alongside our associates."

Photo courtesy of Benchmark.

"Rosita Taylor, the Health and Wellness Director at Brookdale West Boynton Beach took compassion and care to the next level. When we received the first notice that our community was impacted by COVID-19, she packed her bag, pillows and blankets, and moved into the community without hesitation to help support Brookdale West Boynton Beach. She remained at the community, non-stop, for over two weeks just to ensure the safety and wellbeing of not only the residents but also the associates."

Photo courtesy of Brookdale

"A memory care resident was visited by her husband every day with two cups of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. She liked to sleep late and he would bring the coffee, set it on her table and she would wake up almost immediately to the smell. With visitor restrictions, we started having difficulty waking her. Soon that dissipated and we noticed each day Mirghani worked he would return from his lunch break with Dunkin Donut’s coffee. He set the cup on the table to wake her, encourage her to go outside and enjoy her treat like she did with her husband."

Photo courtesy of Discovery Senior Living

"Environmental services is an important department in senior living at all times, but especially during the pandemic. Over the past year, our housekeeping teams at Heritage Communities were tasked with the most critical component of keeping our residents safe: sanitization and cleanliness, in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in their communities. All team members have been focused on infection control practices, but the environmental services team worked quickly and effectively in order to keep residents safe and healthy."

Photo courtesy of Heritage Communities

"Integral Senior Living's Vibrant Life activities team were creative geniuses in reinventing ways for each resident to stay safe and stimulated! Activities moved from door to door all around the building!"

Photo courtesy of Integral Senior Living

"COVID-19 did not stop Sunrise Senior Living's Bluemont Park community from having fun—one activity cart at a time! When residents opened their doors to the activities team, they were greeted with a world on wheels. Cookie Monster even delivered milk and cookies!"

Photo courtesy of Sunrise Senior Living

"Elmcroft of Little Avenue, an Elmcroft Senior Living community, held an international fashion show. India, Turkey, Ivory Island, Jamaica, Liberia, and Ghana were all represented. The associates answered residents’ questions about their dresses, customs, and traditions. The residents were fascinated by the elegant and colorful dresses, and associates were proud and happy to share their cultures."

Photo courtesy of Elmcroft Senior Living

“Phoenix Senior Living’s Illuminations director, Stacey McNamara, provided residents with room visits full of love and laughter. The mobile activity carts were transformed overnight into themed happiness mobiles to uplift the residents’ spirits. Stacey overcame the obstacle of no longer having outside vendors providing services by becoming an entertainer, mental health assessor, life coach instructor, and technological wizard. The smiles and anticipation of the residents said it all, and the mental health benefits witnessed will be a model we will choose to remember as the silver lining to a long hard year.”

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Senior Living

"After nearly six months of safely staying put, the team at The Meetinghouse at Riverfront, a Lloyd Jones Senior Living community, wanted to do something unique for their residents on a hot summer day. The executive director, Anne, contacted a local ice cream truck to bring some fun-in-the-sun directly to the community. The truck pulled up in the parking lot one afternoon to give residents some fresh air and their choice of any of the dozens of novelty ice cream selections on the truck. They enjoyed socially distant conversations and their favorite ice creams together. Talk about a sweet treat!"

Photo courtesy of Lloyd Jones Senior Living

“For pancreatic cancer survivor and single mother to four boys, Lorilynn Parian, there was no question about her decision to report to work as the director of resident relations at The Bristal at West Babylon during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite her own vulnerability. ‘I see over 50 residents every day, more on weekends. They depend on me. I arrange for their programs, work with their families. I’m their assurance that someone is there for them,” she says. “I count everyday as a gift – both in my own recovery and in my ability to be here for these residents who still have much to offer, if only we slow down long enough to listen.’”

Photo courtesy of The Bristal Assisted Living

Recently, Grace Management, Inc. virtually recognized every associate for the heroism they have each demonstrated throughout the pandemic. Author Mike Alsford stated, “The hero, it might be said, is called into being when perception of a need and the recognition of responsibility toward it are backed up by the will to act.” Every associate has acted upon the call to heroism daily with an admirable level of dedication and commitment. We appreciate each of our associates and all they continue to do to provide the best in senior living!

Photo courtesy of Grace Management, Inc.

"As the blaze from the Glass Fire came within mere miles of Spring Lake Village in Santa Rosa, 400 residents needed to be evacuated quickly to a Residence Inn in Sacramento. With the guidance and support from Covia’s leadership, Morrison Living’s team dove right in—ensuring rooms were properly sanitized, that residents had medicine and clothing supplies to last a few weeks, and that the quality of food served at the Residence Inn met the dietary needs and standards of evacuated residents.

A special thanks to these special Morrison leaders who played major roles in the successful evacuation and relocation process: Larry Brooks, Ion Aguinagalde, Garland Stinson, Kara Harris, Dave Wyman, Gianni Carpenello, John Child, John MacDonald and Adrian Alberto."

Photo courtesy of Morrison Living

"After the Texas snowstorm in February 2021 shut down the elevators in one of the high-rise buildings at Blue Skies of Texas in San Antonio, some residents were stuck on the ground floor. One of them, Carl, who is 90, really wanted to get back to his home on the 13th floor. Taking the stairs floor by floor, Carl and staff members, including Yolanda King, Morrison Living’s hospitality manager at the community, made steady progress, taking just a few breaks to rest. By the time they made up 104 steps, Carl felt like Superman! And that wasn’t Yolanda’s only trip up those stairs that day. In fact, she made many!"

Photo courtesy of Morrison Living

We'll continue to add and share stories here throughout the year and will feature many at the Heroes Work Here Celebration at the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference & Expo, September 13-15, 2021 in Phoenix, AZ. Be sure to share yours today for consideration!

Thanks to our 2021 Heroes Work Here Celebration sponsor, Benchmark.