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 John Buccini makes our residents' home such a special place....
Meet John Buccini!
Activities Director, Middlewoods of Newington
I’ve worked at Middlewoods of Newington for about 2 years as an Activities Director working closely with residents and staff. Although I've only worked at Middlewoods of Newington for a few years, I've been working with aging adults for over 10 years. Through my time working in senior living, I have taken my residents across 4 states, to many theater shows, an abundance of restaurants and even on cruises. Organizing lively and meaningful events is something I have enjoyed doing for a long time.
What inspired you to work with older adults?
Believe it or not, I answered an ad in the Hartford Courant for event planning in an assisted living facility. Who knew taking that job would open my eyes to a field that is now so near and dear to me. I have always felt a connection working with older adults and feel very lucky to be working in an award-winning, relationship-centered community.
What's your day-to-day interaction with the residents?
I work with my residents 75% of my day, and the other 25% I am planning or researching programs or excursions. We're always doing something fun...planning parties, hosting activities, going on out-trips. There's never a dull moment!
What do you think makes UMH different from other senior living communities?
The size of our communities, (being relatively small) makes it easier to build relationships with the residents and their families. My programs and interactions with the residents of Middlewoods of Newington are relationship based and I think that’s extremely important. My residents will try a program of mine even if they might not normally participate in that program because of the trust I have built over time with them. I am constantly getting to know our residents and what their likes/dislikes are, what times they prefer to participate in activities and for how long.
What do you like most about working in a senior living community?
It is a very rewarding profession. I love working with people and seeing them happy.
From your experience, what advice would you give families and their loved ones who are thinking about making a move to senior living?
If your loved one isn't a social butterfly before they move to assisted living, they most likely won’t be after they move, BUT having the option to participate, being social, and having care just around the corner is 100 times better than being in a dark house/condo/apartment alone.
How do you help residents feel at home?
I talk to my residents as if I was a family member, friend or peer. Older adults do not like being talked down to. We also have fun and participate in meaningful activities every day. For example, many of our residents expressed interest in participating in a bell choir, so we formed one! We've performed at various locations around the state, including a Christmas performance at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. We have quite the talented group of performers!
Is there anything else you would like to mention about UMH, our residents or our staff members?
I have worked with United Methodist Homes for just about 2 years and absolutely love it and the organization. We are definitely leading the way in providing care and showing respect for our residents. I hope to be here for a long time and look forward to what the future at UMH holds for me.
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!
Connect with Chelsea Sayegh
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.