Meet the Family: Cathy Brelsford of Wesley Village
What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our senior living communities, our staff members are one of the main reasons why our residents feel so at home! Not only do they create a warm family atmosphere, they also understand the challenges faced by families caring for older adults. By fostering caring relationships, staff play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging - from the very first visit, to the day they move into our community and every day after that! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to see how Cathy Breslford makes our residents' home such a special place....
Meet Cathy Breslford!
Receptionist, Crosby Commons
I was born in Bridgeport, attended the Butler Business School and took classes at the University of Bridgeport. Once I married my husband, we moved to Stratford to raise our three children. They all live in the Northeast so I’m lucky to see them pretty frequently as well as our four grandchildren.
Some of my hobbies include gardening and bowling, and I really enjoyed traveling to England to see our son and daughter-in-law when they had a 2-year work assignment there. Additionally, our family has enjoyed a favorite home away from home in the state of Maine where we have vacationed for the past thirty years.
I have worked for UMH for 8 years! I first worked as the Dining Manager for six and a half years and since then, have been at the reception desk at Crosby Commons on the Wesley Village Campus.
What inspired you to work with older adults?
Both my parents and in-laws were residents here at UMH. Through their time at Wesley Village, I became very familiar with the assisted living community. We’ve made so many great memories here and developed wonderful relationships with various staff members and fellow residents. When a position became available that suited my abilities, the Executive Director asked if I would consider the opportunity, which I did, and have enjoyed coming to work every day since.
What's your day-to-day interaction with the residents?
I was the Dining Manager for almost seven years serving the dining needs and concerns of the residents and am now working at the reception desk continuing to serve the residents’ daily needs and concerns. I regularly schedule appointments and transportation, accept and record medication deliveries from pharmacies and through mail orders, and do meal checks which verify that a resident has been spoken with (if not seen at meals) three times per day assuring their well-being in the community.
What do you think makes UMH different from other senior living communities?
We have a home-like atmosphere which cannot be duplicated. Both residents and families immediately feel welcome here and UMH becomes their home away from home. Not many senior living communities can claim to have such a strong mission-oriented, family-like atmosphere.
What do you like most about working in a senior living community?
The residents and staff all become a part of your extended family. I have formed cherished relationships with both staff members and many residents.
How do you help residents feel at home?
I help residents feel at home by welcoming and wishing them a great day, becoming involved with their lives by encouraging the activities they enjoy, and by conversing with family members so that their concerns are addressed while they leave their loved ones with us.From your experience, what advice would you give families and their loved ones who are thinking about making a move to senior living?
It is a difficult move for all involved - the senior who does not like change - and the family who feels both guilt about the move but knows it is time that their loved one gets additional assistance. Understanding that making the move to senior living can be challenging is the first step in a successful transition. The next step is finding the perfect new home for your loved one. A place where your loved one will feel well cared for, comfortable and happy.
Is there anything else you would like to mention about UMH, our residents or our staff members?
UMH is a great place to work, a great place to live and a great place to volunteer because #UMatterHere. Your day is complete after a visit to one of our award-winning communities.
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.