Be The Change at The Charlotte

– Tammara Sweeney –

What is your position at The Charlotte?

I am the Social Director at The Charlotte.

How long have you been at The Charlotte?

I have been at The Charlotte since we opened in June of 2019.

What excites you the most about this position and this company?

The best thing about my position is the close relationships that I get to form with our Members and bringing them joy.

What is your favorite thing about working for Senior Living Communities?

My favorite thing about working for Senior Living Communities is that as a company we are always adding fun and exciting ways to engage our Members.

Describe a time that a Member had a positive impact on your day?

It is very hard to limit myself to one time that a Member has impacted me, but one day I spent extra time with a Member, outside of activities. Before I left she let me know that she did not look at me as a staff member but as a friend and that she valued everything that I did not just as an Social Director but as a confidant.

Have you utilized the Elevate program? If not, do you know someone who has?

(Elevate is a scholarship program for team members to pursue additional certifications or degrees)

I have used the Elevate program to become certified as an activity professional in North Carolina.

How have you grown professionally and personally since joining the Team?

This position has encouraged me to become more patient and to allow people grace in my personal life. We all have distinct things about us that make us special and being here has taught me that our similarities are greater than our differences. In my professional career I have learned to build connections, plan, as well as how to advocate for myself and my team. I am still learning many things, but I am very excited for my growth.

What about your position allows you to pursue things you’re passionate about?

I feel extremely passionate about providing companionship and love to the geriatric population. I have always wanted to work with older adults or children and this position allows me to do both at times, with our JOY (Joining Older and Younger) Program.

When it comes to your programming, what is the motivation behind specific activities, events, programs that you do with your Members?

The Members are the motivation behind all activities. The calendar should evolve with the Members that you have. I hope to always keep their interest in mind when creating programming.

Tell us about your favorite themed days that you have hosted at The Charlotte?

One of the best themed days that The Charlotte has offered was The Charlotte Carnival. We set up several games, had prizes, as well as a carnival concession. Our Members had a great day.

How does your community come together to work together to provide a vibrant social life for your Members? Dining, Wellness, Social?

We all try to support each other not only for the big events but in day to day operations. We try to remain flexible so if the need presents itself, someone is there to fill in the gap to ensure that our Members do not feel that there is anything lacking when it comes to caring for them.

A common misconception is that senior living social activities are all bingo all the time. How do you break that stereotype?

We break the stereotype by offering a wide range of activities as well as promoting what we do through lots of pictures.

How do you incorporate your Member’s feedback, personal lives, preferences, etc into your daily programming?

I always welcome feedback and look for ways to improve activities. Even if my Members are not vocal, if I notice the lack of excitement. If it’s not what I was expecting, I look at new ways to add that spark into different activities.

How has COVID-19 impacted your programming? Why are activities important during this time?

Covid-19 impacted not only The Charlotte but senior communities all over the world. The hardest part of dealing with Covid-19 from the programming stand point was that it didn’t seem like it was enough of me or my team to go around. Months of one-on-one activities was not ideal but we did our best to make sure we still brought contentment to our Members’ lives and joy into their homes. Activities are so important during this time because as people, we all need love, physical touch, and something to look forward to. Whether it was a tasty treat or a fun game that we were bringing door to door, our Members looked forward to seeing us each day.