36 years ago, a young and open-minded girl stepped into Edgewood Manor of Wellston in Wellston, OH. Bright–eyed and eager to start her career, Bonnie Betts started as a nurse aide. Since that day, she has never left Wellston, and although she has grown tremendously over the years, she is still the same young, and upbeat girl at heart.
Today, Bonnie is no longer a nurse aide. After working in housekeeping for a few years, she eventually fell into the activities department. At that time, people who worked in activities tended to be older, and it was unique that Bonnie was doing it at such a young age. But, fast forward 20 years and she is still the activities director. Her passion to make her residents smile and feel alive is what has kept her working on the activities side of healthcare.
Bonnie certainly does a good job of making sure that her residents are not only entertained, but truly enjoying life. She makes a point to take them outside and into the “real world” so that they don’t feel disconnected. From picnics, to shopping, Bonnie makes sure that her residents get to enjoy more than just Bingo. Although, Bingo is still one of the most popular care center activities for her residents!
During the warmer months, Bonnie takes the residents out to enjoy gardening, senior citizen day, and to music festivals. Most recently, she took them out to enjoy the Ash Cave waterfall. It is handicap accessible and the residents were thrilled. In the fall, she takes them out to the apple orchard to enjoy the crisp autumn air. There is not much that holds Bonnie back from taking her residents out. But, Bonnie attributes her successful outings to being prepared. She said, “You have to have every step planned ahead before you go on an outing.”.She learned this from a fellow colleague and mentor of hers, Janell Hiles.
Bonnie and Janell have worked together for 20 years. Even though Janell works at another Consulate care center, Edgewood Manor of Lucasville, the two work together to ensure they put on the best events and activities for their residents. Over the years, Bonnie has found that she has been able to lean on Janell tremendously and it has allowed her to really change the lives of her residents. It’s this teamwork and bonding that has kept Bonnie motivated over the years. She said, “It takes a group of everybody getting together and sharing their ideas.”
We asked Bonnie what she likes most about working at Wellston. She said, “I just like my job. I don’t mind getting up every day.” Bonnie finds that her work family extends beyond just her own care center. From Janell at Lucasville, to Charla Mathuews in a regional role, she has several mentors, friends, and what she considers to be family members, to support her and allow her to be the best she can be. This unique web of people within the Consulate Health Care family is really something special.
Not only does Bonnie find motivation from her co-workers, but also from the residents. She said, “this is my calling, because it’s rewarding. You are actually being someone’s friend, and sometimes, you’re replacing their family.” Bonnie feels a deep connection to everyone at Wellston, and her compassion shines through with each event that she organizes.
When asked what she would like to do in the future, Bonnie said, “I hope to stay here until I retire. When I came here, everyone just adopted me and I have stayed because they’re all so nice.” Bonnie hopes to continue to be as welcoming to every new employee who comes in. She wants to be remembered for making a difference by just being nice to her residents and being a happy person. We thank you Bonnie for your lifetime dedication to everyone at the Edgewood Manor of Wellston, and congratulate you on such a prosperous career.