Argentum (formerly Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA)) Hero Award honors “extraordinary individuals who serve older adults in senior living communities” across America.
Congratulations to Fern Marshall, a dedicated volunteer at Brookdale Palmer Park Senior Living community in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A Place for Mom recently caught up with Fern to congratulate her on her prestigious award and to learn more about her work with seniors. Here’s a little about Fern and her role in the senior living industry:
Talk with a Senior Living Advisor
Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.
Q: How did you end up working/volunteering in the senior living / senior care industry?
A: I started volunteering at Emeritus at Colorado Springs when my husband became a resident of the memory care facility in May of 2007. I went to the community every day to see my husband and started helping residents and staff wherever I was needed.
Q: You were selected as a winner because you champion quality of life for senior residents. How do you do this?
A: I try to preserve their personal dignity by watching for personal issues, such as clean clothes, personal hygiene, eating issues and just spending some one-on-one time with the residents.
Q: What is a memorable moment you’ve had with a resident or family of a resident?
A: There have been so many memorable moments with residents and their families during my 6+ years at Emeritus Colorado Springs that it’s hard to pick just one. A few years ago, however, I witnessed my first death and was there with the family at that moment. Whatever I did or said , the family keeps thanking me for being there for them. They even attended my husband’s memorial in July of 2011.
Q: What inspires you to do what you do for seniors to help the fight against ageism?
A: After my husband’s death in July 2011, I did not know if I could volunteer at the facility again. Two weeks later, I made a visit to Emeritus at Colorado Springs. When I walked into the resident area, one of the residents who did not talk much came up to me, put her arms around me and said, “I am never going to let you leave me again.” I knew then that I would continue to try to help our dear residents on their journey against ageism and the illness they did not ask to have.
Q: What do you do as a volunteer for Emeritus Colorado Springs?
A: I help with resident activities and conduct some on my own. I serve meals and help with residents’ wants and needs. I also spend time with the families of a new resident to try to help them with their transition into this “new” journey of life. I want to be there for them in this time of need. I also help all staff with projects, as needed.
You can view other Argentum ALFA Hero Award Winners here. Don’t hesitate to congratulate Fern Marshall in the comment form below.
Watch this video featuring Fern: