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, it’s not only staff that create a warm family atmosphere, but also our devoted and caring volunteers! By fostering caring relationships and connecting with our residents, volunteers play an essential role in helping our residents navigate the journey of aging. This month, in honor of National Volunteer Week, (April 23rd – April 29th), we are highlighting one of our very special volunteers! Read our "Meet the Family" spotlight below to learn more about Joyce Stobierski's experience volunteering at UMH…
Meet Joyce Stobierski!
Volunteer, Wesley Village Campus
I am a Mom of three adult children, have two grandchildren and three siblings. I love to play games and knit. I am also an adult advisor for the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a service-oriented youth organization for girls 12-20 years of age.
What's it like to volunteer at a UMH senior living community?
There are really no words to express what is it like to be a volunteer at UMH. It’s different every time I visit but is always a rewarding experience. If you go with the mindset and intention to bless someone, 9 out of 10 times, they end up blessing you even more. I have learned so much from each resident I work with, not only about their family, but about life in general.
How long have you been a volunteer? In what way do you volunteer and engage with our residents?
I have been a volunteer for seven and a half years starting as a transporter at Bishop Wicke Health Center, UMH’s short-term rehab and skilled nursing facility, and a game player at Wesley Heights. I currently participate in Coffee Hour and Spa Day.
What inspired you to become a volunteer? Why did you choose a UMH community?
The reason I became a volunteer was because I had gotten laid off my job and felt I was too young to stay home doing nothing. I saw an advertisement for UMH volunteers posted by Barbara Quinn, (who has since retired) and knew Barbara from school so I decided to call her. The rest was history. (Pictured: Joyce with her grandson and other UMH volunteers)
What do you like most about working with older adults?
The most rewarding thing I find working with older adults is they are just older children and I love children. They are so honest with you and are very willing to share incredible stories about their children and their lives.
Do you have any memorable stories you can share from your experience as a volunteer?
I have many memorable stories from my experience at UMH! I recall when my grandson, who has been visiting Wesley Village since he was an infant, would interact with the residents - building Legos with them, trying to make puzzles with them, listening as they read to him. One of my fondest memories is when Jackson (my grandson) told one of our residents to “get on the train.” He took chairs and put them in a line and encouraged many residents to “hop on board.” It not only was adorable, but everyone had a blast!
What do you think makes UMH different from other senior living communities?
I believe one thing that sets UMH apart from other communities is the variety of choices people have to fit their needs. Whether it be in the cottages, independent living, assisted living, memory care or just needing an aide, there is always an option for residents. Also, the whole staff is like family, not only to the residents but to each other. It is a very loving place to be.
From your experience as a volunteer, do you have any advice for families and their loved ones who are considering senior living?
The only advice I might have for anyone looking for senior living is that UMH has a fit for everyone. Your loved ones needs and preferences will surely be met.
Is there anything else you would like to mention about UMH, our residents or our staff members?
I miss the days I am not here at UMH for many reasons. One reason is that I miss seeing the residents and another is realizing that life is short and to cherish each day to the fullest.
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.