Enrichment Coordinators find purpose and joy in work with residents
Our communities are organized around our residents’ health and happiness. In particular, our Enrichment Coordinators dedicate their every working moment to bringing joy, fun and value to our residents. Whether they’re planning new events and activities, taking groups out on excursions or preparing the community for a special occasion, Enrichment Coordinators are some of the busiest and most passionate members of the Holiday Retirement family.
Patricia Campbell brings a little extra sunshine to the lives of the residents at Holiday Retirement’s Lake Ridge Village. Whether she’s creating new activities or making the extra effort to know each of the residents as individuals, Patricia is always working to exceed expectations.
“My fulfillment comes from knowing I made one more resident smile than I did the day before,” she said. “I often hear the residents speaking about larger events and how much fun it was,” she added. It’s a good bit of feedback, and one the residents don’t always realize Patricia is around to hear, a fact that keeps her motivated to bring delight and surprises with each new effort.
For Patricia, creating opportunities for joy and excitement is only a fraction of her efforts to enrich her residents’ lives. “I always try to treat them with great respect and show them how much we appreciate them allowing us to be a part of their family,” she explained, adding that she makes a point to observe and remember the body language residents exhibit when they’re feeling happy or sad. If one of her residents is unhappy, Patricia wants to try to put that missing smile back where it belongs.
How exactly she manages that takes a bit of know how. “For some residents it just means giving them a smile, a hug, acting silly or even just touching their shoulder to let them know we are here for them.“
It’s not always so simple, perhaps, but Patricia is always on the lookout for opportunities to create joy. Knowing the residents as she does, she uses shared interests to encourage new friendships and taps into the layers of the Holiday Retirement lifestyle to create activities for everyone to enjoy.
Passion and Purpose
A fellow EC on a mission to spread happiness, Jodi Wynglarz found her way to Holiday Retirement’s Bluebird Estates after years of searching for her passion. She tried a number of careers and spent time volunteering. All of her efforts shared a thread of service to others, but she says, though she was often happy in those roles, she hadn’t found her purpose. It was a woman who cared for Jodi’s father during a time of great uncertainty that helped her find the path. Brandi was the head of activities at a care facility, and she became like a family member, acting as a counselor, caregiver and friend when distance kept the family from being present as often as they wished.
“Brandi was his angel,” Jodi said. “I whispered to myself that one day I want to make even half of the difference in someone’s life as Brandi did in ours.” Jodi’s father is back home and doing better than ever, but his journey gave her the inspiration she was looking for — some years later, Jodi was working multiple jobs and giving back as best she could, but feeling it wasn’t enough. In a moment of pure spontaneity, she introduced herself to a woman in a position that felt closer to her goals and asked, “What qualifications are needed for your position?” To Jodi’s surprise, the woman said, “It’s funny you should ask, I know a position that would be perfect for you.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
“I am happy to be on this journey with my residents. It is a gift,” Jodi said. “I have spent the last 23 months, making daily mistakes, learning how to be a better listener, creating new activities and finding new volunteer opportunities for my residents both inside and outside of the community,” she said of her ongoing efforts to help residents wake up and make the most of every day.
For Jodi, success has largely come from listening to her residents and making a concerted effort to engage them as much as possible. She asks them questions about the past, yes, but also about their present and future. And when she senses that someone is down, or feeling lost, she reminds them why they are loved and special and helps them brainstorm an activity or effort that will leave them feeling inspired and re-energized.” I want them to be proud of where they have been, what they have done, what they can give, and what gifts they bring to each day.
We’re proud to call Jodi and Patricia part of the Holiday Retirement family, and we’re thrilled to report that Enrichment Coordinators all over the country share their passion and dedication.
Learn more about our enriching communities here.