The Heights Cottage manager, Cynthia Rossel, has been a wonderful part of the AutumnGrove Family! Her hard work and dedication to helping those with memory loss is truly amazing. Read below to find out how Cynthia got into caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementia illnesses.
Start Date with AutumnGrove: January 2014
Favorite Part about Working for AutumnGrove:Interacting with my residents and their families is definitely my favorite part of the day. AutumnGrove has created an environment where I truly don’t feel as if I go to “work”. Instead I feel as if I’m going to visit my extended family and help care for them. The smiles, laughs and hugs are worth more to me than my paycheck.
Favorite Activity For Residents:I truly couldn’t name just one. Everything we do at AutumnGrove is an activity. Since our cottage is home to only sixteen residents, we truly can cater and base our activities to their likes and interests. Our pre-admission process really allows us to get to know the residents before their arrival that way we can create an atmosphere they will feel most comfortable with once coming to their new home. There isn’t a generic feel to our activities; we don’t have the “cut and color” mentality. One moment we can be dancing and listening to golden oldies inside to playing golf in the backyard. Our activities are usually weather oriented so of course if it’s a beautiful day outside you can find us in the backyard or on the porch listening to music and drinking lemonade. If it’s cold and rainy we might all be snuggled up in the living room drinking hot chocolate, eating s’mores and watching old movies.
What Got You Into Caring for Alzheimer’s Seniors: I previously was employed with a local hospice company for ten years. During that time I learned so much about the geriatric population and death and dying. I was first introduced to AutumnGrove when I was actually out visiting one of my hospice patients who lived at one of the AutumnGrove communities. Once I stepped into the building I was blown away. I remember asking the administrator in that cottage, why aren’t there more of these? The atmosphere was like nothing I had experienced in nursing, for one, everyone looked happy and loved. It wasn’t a sad dreary place; it became one of my favorite stops daily. I began to research Alzheimer’s and uncovered some facts that I was completely unaware of. After finding out how huge of an impact Alzheimer’s is; I couldn’t help but want to be part of the support system for these patients and their families.
Favorite Moment of Joy with a resident: I can honestly say I have countless moments of joy daily!This particular moment was almost two years ago while visiting a resident here at the Heights Cottage. He was a hospice patient and was nonverbal; everyday I would ask, “What are you up to”? I never expected a response but I always asked. I would then start talking about my kids, the weekend, traffic; you name it, just talking. One day, about four months into visiting with him I asked the same question, “What are you up to”? To my surprise he answered me, 6’2”, I was floored!! Not only did he answer my question but he also made a joke! He never spoke after that and passed away a few months later;that moment with him is one I will never forget.
How Long Have You Worked in the Assisted Living Industry: 12 years