For Life Enrichment Assistant Sara Szink, every day at Danbury Sanctuary Grande is a great day. In fact, even when she’s not at work she misses the residents, who she says are always in the back of her mind. For three years, Sara’s been proud to call Danbury her second family.
Sara started off as a dining server, transitioned into a position as a resident companion, then became a Life Enrichment Assistant, in which she helps the director of activities carry out a schedule of fun events on a daily basis.
Sara begins a typical morning by delivering newspapers to residents. Then she engages them in a daily devotion, during which they read and discuss Scripture to lay the foundation for their day. As the day continues, residents can choose from a number of other planned activities, including exercise class, bingo, and happy hour at the onsite pub. Sara has become quite an entertainer with her favorite activity, bingo. Instead of having the players yell the classic, “Bingo,” she gets them to “woop woop,” bark, or make farm animal sounds. “They laugh, and a lot of them come out of their shells,” she says. “It’s a great way for them to interact.”
The job isn’t just about the planned activities. Sara loves interacting with residents during the “in-between times” by sitting down with them and their families over a cup of coffee in the diner. She also enjoys gathering residents’ opinions and suggestions for adding and improving activities; she’s currently working on developing a women’s club.
At Danbury, not only residents, but fellow employees feel like family. “I have such a great team,” Sara says. “I feel safe enough to ask questions, and they make the job even more fun. People from the corporate office know me and greet me by my first name. I feel recognized and appreciated for the work I do.”
What advice would Sara offer to people looking for similar job opportunities? “You have to have the heart to do it. It’s not just about money but making a difference in someone else’s life. We’ve had residents who have passed, which means people have lost their friends. Having the heart means being able to be there for them.”
Sara’s time at Danbury has made a permanent impact on her future. When she started, she was enrolled in an early childhood education program. But now, she wants to change her major to healthcare management so she can do more in the field of assisted living. “That’s how much working for this company has influenced me and how much I enjoy it.”
Do you want to enjoy your job as much as Sara does? Danbury might have the perfect job for you. Visit our Careers page to learn more about joining us.