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Growing Up with People Who are Growing Old

I have been pleased to discover that we at United Church Homes have an honored tradition of having family members working together in some of our communities. Moreover, we have a few instances of employees’ children following their parents’ pathways into our workforce.

The following reflection is from Ms. Grace Arrowood, daughter of United Church Homes’ Four Winds Community Administrator Mary Casey. I have gotten to know Grace, a sophomore at Oak Hill High School. She has spent a good bit of time at Four Winds Community. Over the course of her young life, Grace has seen her mother lead this organization. Grace has also gotten involved as a volunteer visitor. I asked her to share some of her thoughts about her experience interacting with older adults.

We love our employees and their families. This is an example of how that love can be passed along and inspire the next generation. – Rev. Kenneth Daniel, United Church Homes president and CEO

Growing Older

Growing up with my mom has shaped me into who I am in many ways. Four Winds has been part of my life since a very young age.

From being in the community during work hours to worrying about my special resident friend who isn’t doing well, I have come to appreciate this special kind of work. Four Winds is a unique place, not just because of my mother. It is a special place for all the staff who work so hard to create a good life for residents.

Passion Drives Successful Outcomes

Over the years, watching my mother and her co-workers be so passionate about what they do has shown me what it means to care for people. I have also learned to truly apply myself to what I work for. United Church Homes has changed my mother’s life and my life for the better. This is in part due to the organization’s compassion for people and desire for great lives for residents and staff.

Through UCH, I have developed so many relationships with both the residents and the employees. I have also discovered my love for the skilled nursing profession. United Church Homes and its work are amazing to me because older adults are so important to this world. They deserve to have a place where they are loved and valued.

New Friendship

An example of one relationship I have developed over the years at Four Winds is with a lady named Barbara. I did not know Barbara before my mom started working at Four Winds. We live in a very rural part of southeast Ohio, and Barbara and I happily discovered that she knew my great-grandparents very well. She also knew so many stories about my grandpa.

My grandfather passed away in 2012 and I miss him so much. He was like a father to me. My mom has always told me that it is important to reminisce with the residents during visits if they enjoy it. When I visit with Barbara, she loves to tell me stories about my grandpa when he was growing up down in the “holler.” I truly love hearing these stories. They make me feel close to him once again. As it turns out, the reminiscing is not only beneficial for Barbara, but also probably more beneficial for me.

Abundant Aging, Loving Care

I cannot imagine a day when I may have to put my mother in a community that isn’t like Four Winds. Having lived my life as part of my mom’s work in a UCH skilled nursing center has given me many things.   As I have grown older, I continue to be grateful for places like Four Winds and United Church Homes where people can live abundantly and are treated with loving care.

And I know from watching my mom that women can be good leaders. She treats the staff with respect and knows how to get the very best care from everyone on the team. I love my mom and all she has taught me about everything, but especially what I’ve learned watching her work as the administrator at Four Winds.

Epilogue by Rev. Kenneth Daniel

United Church Homes embraces a culture of education and provides opportunities for students in any course of study to learn in our communities. We appreciate young people like Grace and the infusion of caring energies and new ideas that students share. Whether it be visits from daycare children, pen pals in middle schools, high school service clubs, undergraduate and graduate students, United Church Homes supports a learning culture and opens its doors to anyone eager to learn about older adults, the services we provide and the professions that are needed in this work. In this way, we hope to inspire the next generation of people who will shape the lives of our elders and find their calling in this special mission and ministry of United Church Homes.

About Guest Blogger

Guest BloggerUnited Church Homes occasionally welcomes guest bloggers to contribute to our community. Guest bloggers come from all walks of life. We are thankful for their contributions to the Abundant Aging blog.

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