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Blog Feature

By: Chelsea Sayegh on January 24th, 2017

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Meet the Family: Ginny Brown!

Aging & Caregiving | Meet The Family

What makes a house a home? It's not the fancy furniture or shiny chandeliers, but the family who gathers there. At our UMH 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 Ginny Brown makes our residents' home such a special place....

 

Meet Ginny Brown!

Director of Community Relations, Middlewoods of Farmington

Ginny grew up in Rocky Hill, Connecticut and graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Psychology. Eleven years ago, Ginny started working as the Activities Director for Middlewoods of Farmington and a year and a half ago she became the Director of Community Relations at Middlewoods of Farmington. She's able to help families and prospective residents see there is so much more to life if they live at Middlewoods. She currently lives in Rocky Hill with her husband and 2 children. "I love to spend time with my husband and two boys. We love to be outdoors and play sports. Our boys have a real 'need for speed' so we frequently visit amusement parks! One of my favorite hobbies is playing golf. I am also a Yankee Fan!"

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

"I have always loved working with seniors so I did an internship in the field of therapeutic recreation at a local nursing home. After graduating college, I secured a job as an activity assistant at a skilled nursing facility. I then furthered my geriatric education with classes at Manchester Community College to become a Therapeutic Recreation Director. Three years later, a fellow United Methodist Home's employee told me about a recreation position available at the Middlewoods of Farmington Independent and Assisted Living Campus. I took one step in the door and knew this was the place I wanted to be! We have now worked together for the past 11 years, and I thank her constantly for changing my life. Now as the Director of Community Relations, I am able to help families and prospective residents see there is so much more to life if they live at Middlewoods. There is nothing better than seeing a family relieved that mom or dad is socializing, eating well and living life again!"

 

What do you think makes UMH different from other senior living communities? 

ginny brown umh"The core values of UMH are respect, spirituality, excellence, collaboration and stewardship. These values are not just words on paper here at UMH; our staff and residents live them everyday. With a legacy of over 140 years of caring, our mission and values are intertwined with everything we do. We really believe that a relationship-centered approach to care best sustains body, mind, and spirit, and it is this focus on relationships, along with our rich history of caring for older adults, which creates this special environment that feels like home. People who come to visit always say, 'It just feels different here!' and it's true. Our communities' warm, welcoming environment, family atmosphere, and opportunities for living help our residents thrive!"

What's your day-to-day interaction with the residents?

ginny brown umh
 
"It can range from dining with them and with prospective residents, to fixing something on their computer, to playing a game of setback, or even hosting a comedy night! They know they can trust me with a personal concern and that they can have fun with me as well!"
 

 

What inspired you to work with older adults?


ginny brown umh"I was very close to my grandparents growing up. My grandmother was a hairdresser and owned her own beauty salon so I spent many summers serving coffee to all of the ladies, listening to their stories and entertaining them. My grandfather, on the other hand, had a beautiful garden and I often helped him tend to it. It gave him great pleasure to send each woman home with a bouquet of flowers. Money was never important to them and caring about others and making them smile was always top of the list! Family, friends, anyone in town! As a young teenager, I preferred to spend time with my grandparents rather than my peers. I treasured all of the stories and life experience they taught me. They both passed away when I was a teenager. I missed them greatly growing up and still do today. In high school, I volunteered at a nursing home after they passed to keep that connection alive. Their picture sits on my desk and I look at it everyday, knowing they are proud that I continue their legacy of helping others. I feel that I connect best with seniors. The wisdom of our seniors is so valuable. I want to continue to learn from them and I want to show them that as they age, they can continue to do the things that they love and have purpose here at Middlewoods."
 

What do you like most about working in a senior living community?

ginny brown umh

"The relationships that I am able to have with our Residents is my favorite part of my job. The residents here at Middlewoods are a huge part of my life. When I was engaged, they all helped me pick out flowers. A few ladies even came to my dress fitting (they weren't thrilled it was a strapless dress but they still told me I looked beautiful - I love their honesty!) and about 30 residents attended my wedding. It was so special to look over and see my Middlewoods family there supporting me. Once we purchased our new home, my husband and I invited them for a luncheon. I put to use all of the tips they shared - like how to set the table!! They gave me a wonderful book filled with their favorite recipes that I cherish! After my wedding, the residents constantly asked when I was going to have a baby. One resident even told me she prayed everyday for me to get pregnant! Now that I have my 2 boys, I plan dates for them to come visit the community. My boys LOVE coming to Middlewoods to visit with 'mommy's friends' as they call them. I want my boys to have respect for seniors, I want them to learn the same life lessons I did, and I want the residents to enjoy the company and joy that small children can bring. I love that my home and work life can be one! How many people can say they truly love their work? I can!"
 

What's it like to work with the UMH team?

ginny MOF

"Every member on our team puts our residents first. It's easy to come to work when you know everyone has the same goal each day. I have never heard someone say 'that is not my job.' It is always 'how can I help you today?' I truly believe happy staff leads to happy residents and that is why Middlewoods of Farmington is the best place to call home!"



How do you help residents feel at home?

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"I always encourage prospective residents to spend time with the people who live here. That is the best way to know if you can see yourself living at Middlewoods. After I learn the interests of a prospective resident, I ask a resident in the community to join them for lunch. (I seek residents out to help guide others on the journey of aging because they know it best!)  If someone enjoys reading, I will invite them to join our book club. If they love watching movies, I show them our theater room. From learning our resident's favorite hobbies to their favorite foods and pet peeves, we create a safe and happy, home-like environment. This helps people feel at home before they even make the move! From having lunch with perspective residents to answering any questions families may have, I am proud to initiate a bridge between the outside community and our home at Middlewoods."

 

From your experience, what advice would you give to families and their loved ones who are thinking about making a move to senior living?

"Moving to a senior living community is a huge step. Some people are unsure about senior living because they think it means losing their independence. However, senior living can in fact promote independence by offering ample opportunity through community involvement, out-trips, a network of neighbors and daily activity.  I always encourage prospective residents to spend time here at Middlewoods with the people that live here. That's the best way to know if you can see yourself in a senior living community! We also offer a great 60 day stay program where residents can try out senior living without making any commitments."    
 
Get to know more about what makes UMH such a great place to live!
In this FREE Guide "Life at Home vs. Life at a UMH Senior Living Community"
 
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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!

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