“I was raised by my Grandmother, so coming to work at AVG is like saying 'Thank You' for all she has done for me. We have so much fun here, whether we are bowling, playing bingo, or just reminiscing about our lives. At the end of the day, it is hard to go home. The seniors are like my extended family; I am glad to be part of their lives. This past year and half has been so rewarding.”
Malissa Snodgrass, Ellisville Staff Member
"It is very true that you can learn a lot from those older than you. I’ve been given the opportunity as the new Activities Director at Bethesda Gardens Memory Care in Fort Worth to learn this lesson very well. Working with older adults is more than just dominoes and bingo... for me it’s about building strong relationships and listening as residents share their wonderful stories.
Every resident has an amazing lifetime of stories to tell... places they’ve been, family and friends they love dearly, careers and community clubs where they’ve served, and many more. Some have stories of war and hard times. Others have hilarious stories about raising their children, while some share job stories of where they worked and things they’ve accomplished. Most every resident speaks of their parents, so I ask them stories about their childhood and what it was like to grow up in their day. I never grow tired of hearing their amazing stories! Some days I try to keep count of how many times I say “Really?” or “WOW!” during their stories. One thing is for certain... I don’t have a boring job!
The reality of my job is that I know the day may come when these same precious residents can no longer remember their amazing lifetime stories due to the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. That is why I continue to stir their memories now and learn what I can to make stronger connections with each of them. There are times when they can’t remember, but since I’ve witnessed their stories I can remind them and the memories return for even a moment.
At Bethesda Gardens Memory Care, I facilitate many more fun activities such as sing-alongs, games and bingo, culinary and baking, gardening, dancing, museum outings, movies, and party times. But none are as rewarding as when we all get together and share our stories. I share my lifetime stories with each of them as well. And some days, when we all get tired of our own stories... we make up silly tall tales! But that’s another story..."
Tina Pace, Activities Director, Bethesda Gardens Memory Care Community, Fort Worth, TX
"I find working with our residents to be quite rewarding and they are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. They really appreciate you doing even the smallest thing for them. They all remind me of my grandparents in some way, which makes each of them special to me. This makes me look forward to coming to work each day.
When interviewing with Bethesda Gardens, I was delighted to find out they are a faith-based organization, they have been around for more than 50-years, and they have an excellent reputation for resident care. They treat each employee like family; not just a number on a timecard. Bethesda provides opportunities for learning and growing within the organization and has a 'team' philosophy.
I have been with the organization for close to a year now and can honestly say that this is the best organization I have ever worked for.”
Scott Dixon, Bethesda Gardens Maintenance Director