Jackie Delaney, a long-term Meadowood employee, shares the story of her passion for people and how that translates to her work at Meadowood.
I have been an employee here at Meadowood since 2002. I was 16 years old when I started as a dining aide in the Health Center, which included Laurel House (personal care), Holly House (skilled nursing) and Azalea House (memory care). As time went by, my love for speaking to people and getting to know their life stories grew. My enthusiasm did go unnoticed as I was approached by a manager who thought that I would be a great candidate for the Health Center in a care capacity. She recognized my caring manner and passion for people and thought a nursing assistant position would be the right fit.
I took her advice and soon after I took a test to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. I also became medication certified, which allowed me to participate in care plan meetings with residents, the health center team and resident’s families. This additional certification ensures that residents are taking their medication properly and enables me to address any concerns. I also have been a member of the Safety committee for many years. I began working in Azalea House and my passion for people grew even stronger. Azalea House is a safe neighborhood designed for people with dementia. This area of the community calls for a special type of care and compassion and I knew I was up for the challenge. My experience in Azalea House developed my skill set and enabled me to develop a “knack” for patience and understanding and how best to meet the needs of these special residents. I enjoyed my work there so much that I was promoted to lead worker for all of personal care. One of my duties as lead worker included training new employees; a task I was happy to perform!
I am currently working out of the Resident Care Department at Meadowood as a Catering Living Assistant. Catered Living is a program that assists residents with non-medical activities of daily living. I enjoy helping people in any way I can. For example, I helped to develop a program for the residential living residents at Meadowood to become more active by getting to know their peers. This program is called the “Cardinal Club” and provides both social and physical programs for those that may need additional assistance. I am also a certified Activity Director, which helps immensely in this role.
I enjoy making residents happy in any way I can. This can simply be a conversation, a card game, a manicure, a walk, or just sitting next to them keeping them company. It is important that residents know I am not merely in their home with them, I’m at home with them. When people feel you are comfortable with your role, it creates a happy, comfortable environment.
I am continuing my education and am currently enrolled in The University of Phoenix online full time, in addition to working full time! My degree will be a Bachelors of Science in Behavioral Psychology. My goal is to use my education at Meadowood to continue to bring happiness to residents lives. I have received 2 scholarships from Meadowood and have immense gratitude to the Meadowood Residents Association (MRA) for their generosity. In addition, I received a scholarship from Leading Age, the professional organization for non-profit communities such as Meadowood. I look forward to the future and consider Meadowood my second home.