Meet our Caregivers – Mary, Avita Memory Care Program Director

At Northbridge, we are celebrating our compassionate, dedicated and incredible Avita Program Directors. Avita Program Directors oversee programming in our Avita Memory Care neighborhood. They are some of the most caring, passionate and creative people you will ever meet and we are lucky that they share their talents with Northbridge!

Avita Program Director: Mary Silvia
Community: Autumn Glen at Dartmouth

  1. How long have you worked in Senior Living? What was your first job in Senior Living?
    I have worked in senior living going on 4 years. My first job in a senior living community was during college, right at the beginning of the pandemic. I was a program assistant in a memory care neighborhood.
  2. What first made you interested in pursuing a career in Senior Living?
    I didn’t take my first job in senior living because I intended to build a career in this industry. Honestly, I took it because I needed a job to pay my way through school and, having been raised in part by all four of my grandparents, I always felt comfortable with seniors. When I started during the pandemic, I was going room to room in full PPE. From the start of my shifts to finish, I was engaging residents one on one and getting to know them on a very personal level. Just like myself and the rest of the world at the time, my residents were starving for the kind of comfort and security that can only come with knowing that you’re valued and cared for.
  3. What was your first experience working in Memory Care?
    My first experience working in memory care was my first experience working in senior living. That being said, I had spent a lot of time in memory care neighborhoods previous to working in one formally. Growing up, my mother was a memory care director. That meant that after school and during summer vacations my brother and I would go to work with our mother. I would stick with the programs people, joining in on every engagement they had and unknowingly leading my own one-on-ones. I wanted to be in the center of it all. I loved my mother’s residents and admired them. They were people from all walks of life who had accomplished amazing things throughout their lives. Best of all, these amazing people wanted to laugh and have fun with me. It got to the point where, when my grandmother would watch me, I’d beg her to bring me to my mother’s community. I still have that love and admiration for my residents. My relationship to individuals with memory loss looks a little different than it once did, yet I am still humbled by the fact that I get to spend my days laughing and connecting with such incredible people.
  4. What made you decide to pursue working in memory care vs. traditional assisted living ?
    After working in memory care, it never occurred to me to work with any other demographic. Memory care is where I feel most at home.
  5. What is your favorite part about working in memory care?
    My favorite part about working in a memory care neighborhood is the intimate bond you forge with residents. In memory care, knowing your residents and their personal history is vital to providing not only the care they deserve, but also the life they deserve. That level of intimacy and connection is beautiful to experience and, as a director, even more beautiful to witness.
  6. What would you say are the benefits of life in a memory care community?
    I would say the most significant benefit to life in a memory care community is accessible engagement. We have residents at all stages of their journey, which means we take special care to ensure we meet every resident where they are. Many families are hesitant to make the transition to a memory care neighborhood, swearing up and down that their loved one will be spending their time in their room or that they don’t like taking part in programs. These are typically the same family members that are shocked months later when their loved one has fully acclimated and now attends programs regularly. Often times when a resident with memory loss is living in the assisted living portion of the community, they may struggle to keep up in group conversations, remember the rules of a new game, or follow instructions for a multistep art project. Lots of feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, and embarrassment often results in that person with memory loss self-isolating. However, our memory care neighborhood is equipped with the tools, knowledge, and staffing to be able to zero in on each resident’s needs. This ensure we are able to set them up for success, fostering self-esteem and confidence. It is life changing.
  7. What would you say is the best part of life in the Avita neighborhood at Autumn Glen?
    No contest, the people are the best part of life in Avita at Autumn Glen. Our caregivers are proud to be working with the demographic they are and care for our residents as if they were their own family. Our engagement associates work hard to create purpose and tweak programs to cater to any level of ability. Even our maintenance assistant and resident support associates take the time to socialize with our residents. It creates such great a sense of community.
  8. What are you most looking forward to about working at Autumn Glen?
    I am looking forward to continuing to improve upon the great things that are happening at Autumn Glen as well as expanding horizons. For our Resident Care Associates, I look forward to being a resource and a part of their support system. I’m excited to work with the engagement associates on new experiences for our residents. Most of all, I am looking forward to spreading the infectious joy and pride that working with seniors provides.
  9. What advice would you share with a family who is considering memory care for their mom/dad?
    When it comes to caregiving and memory loss, absolutely no one person can do it alone and that is okay. It is essential to have a support system in place. That is what memory care can be for families. We help carry some of the load so families can take off the caregiver hat to put the daughter, son, wife, husband, or friend hat back on. This way you can enjoy spending time together.

Interested in learning more about the engaging programs in our Avita Memory Care neighborhood? Click here to check out our February program calendar!

Northbridge residents enjoy engaging programs based on our three pillars of engagement – to move, to connect, to feel and to learn. All of our associates receive dedicated dementia training to provide the best and most compassionate care for our residents. Northbridge offers a variety of signature programs that provide our residents and families excellent engagement and learning opportunities as well as a sense of purpose. Be sure to learn more about our Northbridge Signature Programs, Senior GreenArtist in ResidenceCooking up MemoriesEat Fresh, Eat LocalJoin My Journey.

Want to learn a little bit more about  Memory Care? Check out our blogs:
What a Day is like for Shared Memory Care Residents
5 Tips for Daylight Savings and Alzheimer’s Disease
Next Steps After a Dementia Diagnosis
Dementia & Harmful Flowers – A list to take to your florist

Find a position at a Northbridge community near you!

Click here to view jobs.

Working at a Northbridge senior living community

If you are considering a career in senior living, we hope you’ll consider one of our communities. Our team of associates makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our residents, every day. Because of that, we treat our team like family and we’re happy to offer:

  • Competitive Pay
  • Flexible Schedules
  • Direct Deposit
  • Vacation & Personal Days
  • Paid Holidays & Sick Time
  • Your Birthday Off
  • Health Insurance to Qualified Associates
  • 401k Company Match
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Ongoing Education
  • Associate Appreciation

View our careers website today to view open positions, what a day working at Northbridge is like, and why our associates love to work here.

As a New England senior living company, we pride ourselves in being the local choice for families in need of assisted living or memory care. We look to our teams of associates to truly make our communities home for our residents. Whether that’s a helping hand or a moment to listen to a story, our associates are dedicated and compassionate. With 19 communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we hope you’ll find your home here too. If you already love what you do, and want to love where you work, apply now! We look forward to meeting you.

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