Atria director aims to keep seniors at facilities active
Wilson, who serves as Divisional Engage Life Innovation director for Atria Senior Living, began working for the company three years ago as a local Engage Life director, in which her duties required her to develop and lead activities that would enrich the lives of residents at Atria facilities.
Because of her exemplary work, she was soon promoted to a divisional position, where she oversees the Engage Life programs at three Houston-area Atria centers in Kingwood, Sugar Land and Cypresswood, as well as a number of other facilities around the country.
“My main job is to support our Engage Life directors,” Wilson said. “I give them the tools and the training and resources they need to do their job the best that they can.”
One of the key factors that Wilson stresses is that she and the Engage Life directors at each center do everything in their power to ensure seniors are not just idling away their lives. Instead, they are constantly trying to come up with ways to keep their residents active and entertained.
“They understand that we’re a different ballgame,” Wilson said. “When they come to Atria, they’re not going to be sitting around. We’re truly doing things that are going to enhance their life.”
Wilson graduated from college with a music major, which was a requirement for many of the skilled nursing positions she undertook at the beginning of her career. While she enjoyed the time she spent working in nursing homes, she dreamed of being able to have a different kind of impact on seniors’ lives.
“I grew to love it, but I also wanted to kind of catch seniors in that space where we have the most opportunity to improve their lives,” Wilson said. “In a senior living environment, we have so many more opportunities to keep them in independent living as long as we can.”
Although a major part of Wilson’s job is to promote the physical and emotional wellness of Atria’s residents, she also emphasizes that it is just as important to keep them participating in their communities in an active way.“We’ve very big on civic engagement and letting the residents still be part of the community they grew up in or had such a role in,” Wilson said.
About Shannon Wilson
Occupation: Divisional Engage Life Innovation Director for Atria Senior Living
Community Connection: Oversees Engage Life program at Atria Cypresswood
Fast Fact: Recently gave presentation at International Council on Active Aging
Chris Marshall is a freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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