National Activity Professional Week is what we like to consider the senior living industry’s best week of the year. It’s a special time when the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP) celebrates the extraordinary individuals who dedicate their time to caring for our seniors.

To put it simply, the NAAP honors the people who make a senior living community operate. The person who cleans the beds. That someone who calls out Bingo numbers. A friendly greeter at the door. It’s not about the products or services a community offers. It’s about the people who make the establishment tick.

So, in light of National Activity Professional Week — and every other week of the year — we want to send out sincerest thanks our activity professionals.

A Few Reasons Why

1. You are team players. It takes a village to care for anyone who needs constant assistance. Your expertise complement each other, and you each contribute to a senior’s life in a way that makes it holistically enriched.

2. You go above and beyond. The job of an activity professional is not 9 to 5 and caring for individuals can bring its challenges. You stand up to those challenges, no matter what the hour of the day, and easily overcome them.

3. Your presence is positive. The work of an activity professional requires patience, compassion, and a warm disposition. These come naturally to you and you bestow it on others in a way that no one else can. From your smile alone, you make our seniors feel comfortable and welcome in what sometimes can be an unfamiliar environment.

At Eversound, we like to recognize wonderful people as well. Each month we highlight an Eversound Champion — someone who has an unyielding commitment and passion for improving the lives of community residents each and every day.

Since it’s a special week for the industry, we’ve like to reflect on a few 2017 Eversound Champions who have touched the lives of their residents and fellow staff. You’ll see why their qualities are worth mentioning.

Note: Reading about these honorees is super inspiring. We could all benefit from embracing what makes them inspirational. (We all have it in us!)

A Few Eversound Champions

Barb Gutzmann

-Sholom, Campus Director of Therapeutic Recreation
-St. Paul, Minnesota

Barb makes Sholom Senior Living shine a little brighter each and every day.

1. Barb takes the time to learn about what brings joy to people’s lives.

2. She plays up her comedic side and brings laughter to everyone around her.

3. Barb understands the importance of what it takes to enrich the residents’ lives — no matter how big or small. From weekly flower deliveries to researching the implementation of new technology, she has provided her community with so many ways to improve quality of life.

Courtney Allenson

-The Residence at Otter Creek, Engagement Services Director
-Middlebury, VT

Courtney loves to share and teach her skills, but always willing to pause and assist someone in need of help.

1. Courtney does everything with a smile, and it’s apparent that she takes joy in providing a service to those in need.

2. While she is an amazing event planner, Courtney goes above and beyond to make sure each activity is enjoyed by all. If the residents aren’t engaged, she evaluates the activity and finds a better one.

3. Courtney proactively addresses the challenges of residents. If someone is having difficulty with something, she is the first to assist and find a solution.

Christine Marnelakis

-Maplewood at Stony Hill, Lifestyle Director
-Bethel, CT

Christine is compassionate, caring, and has the biggest heart.

1. Christine notices every little thing about her residents and has an amazing ability to read their needs.

2. She is a devoted advocate for all her residents. Christine puts forth unmeasurable effort in making sure they are engaged in a dignified manner.

3. She thinks outside the box when it comes to activity planning because she finds joy in bringing excitement into a resident’s life.

Don’t miss your chance to recognize a deserving activity professional. So, all you senior living community leaders out there, nominate one of your staff members to be an Eversound Champion.

Thank you, Activity Professionals for all of the hard work you do. We, your residents, and coworkers are indebted to you.