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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on July 31st, 2015

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Wesley Village Connects Four Generations


Wesley Village Connects Four GenerationsWalk in the doors of any community at Wesley Village and after a few conversations, you can easily uncover dozens of unique stories about how residents, family members, staff, and volunteers became connected with the senior care campus.

Wesley Village, located at 580 Long Hill Avenue in Shelton, has been connecting families with high quality senior living options and healthcare services for over 125 years.

Through each decade, those connections have grown in many ways, beyond simply finding mom or dad a place to live when they can’t live alone anymore. A current employee recently shared her story of how Wesley Village connected her family….

CALA Award at Crosby CommonsKelly Coppola works as the Activities Director at Crosby Commons, the award-winning independent and assisted living community at Wesley Village. Before that, Kelly transitioned from the Recreation Director at the neighboring community of Wesley Heights to Crosby's full-time receptionist. After only seven months as the receptionist for Crosby Commons, Kelly was also recognized with the Outstanding Resident Service award from the Connecticut Assisted Living Association. A great asset to the community, she is also surprisingly part of four generations with connections to Wesley Village!

Kelly’s grandmother was Claire Byle, a New Jersey native who moved to Connecticut to be closer to her family when her health began to fail. Not wanting to be a “burden” to her family, she chose not to move in with her children and fell in love with the senior living options at Wesley Village, moving in to their Wesley Heights community in 2003. Claire loved the community and continued to enjoy life as a resident for about two years, before moving to Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center (at Wesley Village) for more skilled care. Sadly, Claire passed away in February of 2005, but left quite an impression on the community and the many friends she left behind.

Kelly’s mom, Jackie Santagata, was thrilled to have found a community close to home where her mom, Claire, could live in safety and security and continue to enjoy things that were important to her. Jackie loved being able to maintain a mother-daughter relationship with her mom, without having to feel overwhelmed by caregiving responsibilities. She was also so impressed with the campus that she chose to become a registered volunteer. Jackie now actively volunteers with the Wesley Village Prayer Shawl Ministry and the new Music and Memory program, which the campus will be piloting at their Lifestyle Transitions Memory Care neighborhood this summer.

Crosby Common's VolunteerIn addition to her mom and grandmother, Kelly’s daughter, Karly also joined the Wesley Village team in 2008 as a registered volunteer.  Karly is a junior Psychology Major at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, studying Special Education. For the past nine years, Karly has volunteered in a variety of capacities at Wesley Village, serving residents and supporting staff by providing clerical and computer support, and assistance in our Recreation and Dining Services departments.

To learn more about the many ways Wesley Village is connecting with families like Kelly’s to provide a continuum of award-winning care and services for their loved one(s), visit www.wesleyvillage-ct.org. The Wesley Village Campus includes: Crosby Commons Assisted and Independent Living Community, Wesley Heights Assisted and Independent Living Apartments and Cottages, Lifestyle Transitions Memory Care, and Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center.

The campus is owned and operated by UMH, a local, mission-based, not-for-profit organization serving all members of the community. To schedule a tour at any of their communities, contact Lisa Bisson at 203.225.5024. For more information about volunteer opportunities at Wesley Village, contact Barbara Quinn at 203.944.8292. 

Photo Caption (from left to right): Jackie Santagata (Kelly’s mom), Karly Coppola (Kelly’s daughter) with a photo of Claire Byle (Kelly’s late grandmother), and Kelly Coppola. Shelton, CT (July 23, 2015)

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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