Each month, we ask senior living community leaders to nominate a staff member who has an unyielding commitment and passion for improving the lives of their community residents each and every day.
This month, we are recognizing Shari Sweeney from Compass on the Bay, a Senior Living Residences Community, in South Boston, MA. Read why Caitlyn Mark, Executive Director, thinks Shari is the perfect fit for this award:
Can you tell us about Shari’s background? How did she get involved in senior living? How long has she been at your community?
Shari has been with Compass on the Bay for 2 years. Shari has always had a passion for seniors and senior living. She has family who has lived with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. She knew she wanted to support those living with the disease based on her own experience.
What qualities does she possess that makes her exceptional at what she does?
Shari is full of life and energy. Her attitude and passion for seniors are contagious. She always strives to go above and beyond as well as comes up with creative ways to impact our residents lives. Their quality of life and day to day programming is so important to her. She is a leader in our community and a leader in the industry.
What little things does she do each day that may go unnoticed but make an immeasurable difference in the lives of residents?
Shari is the program director for our memory support community. Many of our residents experience behaviors throughout the day. Shari is always looking for new redirection techniques geared towards the individual. She is daily redirecting residents with techniques specific to them. She takes the time to manage her programming and help the resident feel more comfortable when they are in need.
Is there a story or memory that highlights a moment where she went above and beyond to help their residents?
Shari brings so much life to the community. She has implemented a successful volunteer program where residents are able to receive more one on one programming. She embraces any resident’s behavioral expressions and really takes the moment to live in their reality.
Describe Shari’s forward-thinking approach to improve engagement at your community. For example, how does using a system like Eversound improve the way she is able to do her job?
Eversound has improved engagement immensely at the community. The system has allowed residents who may not have been actively engaged become actively engaged. Shari has been able to continue to impact the lives of others due to the system.
How would you describe her in one sentence?
Shari is affectionate, compassionate, charismatic and always coming up with new creative ideas to provide our residents with the best quality of life.
Caitlyn also asked a few residents to share their thoughts on Shari:
“Shari is great. I never hear anything bad about her. Everyone loves her.” – Marion
“She is a doll. I love her!” – Natalie
“There is always a ton of fun things for us to do. Shari is always interested in what I like to do.” – Alice
Shari was kind enough to share her experience with Eversound and tips for other Programming Professionals!
On average, how often do you use Eversound in your community programs?
3-5x per week.
What are your top 3 programs with Eversound? These can be programs you most consistently use Eversound at or just your favorite programs with Eversound!
- For my 104 year old with significant hearing impairment. Her daughter has talks on youtube, and she loves to watch and listen to them now that she can.
- I place the headphones on my residents involved in parallel programs. They frequently will sing a long as they paint, complete a puzzle, etc.
- My favorite one is how we used it on a resident who just recently passed. She had not been out of her bed for a month, but still responded to music. I would put the headphones on her while she was in her bed, and I could control the music from my office. She would always dance and sing with her eyes closed, and sometimes fall asleep to the tunes!
What would your advice be to a friend or colleague just starting to use Eversound?
Try it with everyone and for every program. We all have a different group of people in our communities, so you need to find what works best for your group.
What’s your most memorable/”breakthrough” moment with Eversound?
Being able to have a successful conversation with my 104 year old for the first time since she moved in months prior. She was able to hear me and respond in a “normal” conversational manner.
What are your best “Quick Set Up” tips to use Eversound at programs quickly and efficiently?
I usually look at my programs before the day starts, and I will communicate with my staff which ones they should try it in.
Congratulations, Shari! We’re so thrilled to work with you and your entire Compass by the Bay team. If you know someone who would qualify as an Eversound Champion, please contact us.