Mary Chaney was shocked when she was selected as the Activity Professional of the Year by the Maryland Activity Coordinators Society. She was surprised not only by the award, but also by the fact that she was nominated by an employee from another care center!
In April 2018, Mary will celebrate her 14th anniversary of working at Reeders Memorial Home in Boonsboro, Maryland. She currently serves as Reeders’ activities director and volunteer director. It’s interesting to know that early in her career, in 1985, Mary worked at Reeders for a while as a housekeeper. She moved on to accumulate over 19 years of experience taking care of residents and leading their activities in other care settings. Mary found her way back to Reeders fourteen years ago, where she has been able to share her passion for the elderly ever since.
Mary is motivated to come to work each day because she loves her residents. She has a particularly special connection with the residents who suffer from dementia. “They can sense you want to help,” she said, describing her sweet and careful approach.
The support Mary gets from her executive director makes her job a pleasure. She appreciates that she is given the opportunity to try out new ideas and activities at Reeders. Being able to explore new concepts and programming keeps her work creative and energized. She also mentioned that she is surrounded by excellent co-workers at Reeders, who are also deserving of recognition.
Mary treasures the relationships she has with her residents. In particular, she had one very kind resident who was also a volunteer, was well-educated, and held a highly respected job. Mary learned a lot from this resident, just by listening attentively. Mary told us that she learns so much about the earlier lives of all of the residents, and finds their stories inspiring.
When we asked Mary which of Consulate’s Core Values is the most important, she chose compassion. She told us a touching story about a resident with whom she had become very close friends. One day, the resident told her, “I won’t be here very long,” referring to her declining health. Mary sat with the resident, hugged her, and they cried together.
Mary told us that she will continue at Reeders for as long as possible, and then will continue working as a volunteer. It’s clear that Mary isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. She is already a busy volunteer, and is currently serving as the president of the local Lion’s Club. Mary told us that she just wants to continue exploring, enjoying life and enjoying people.
Consulate is fortunate to have Mary sharing her skills and enthusiasm for life at Reeders. Thank you, Mary!