Recognized for Compassion, Dedication

Recognized for Compassion, Dedication

July 18, 2017

For Susan “Sue” Berrelli, who has worked in caregiving positions at many quality organizations in Western Massachusetts, Glenmeadow was the place to settle in for the long term. That’s because she says Glenmeadow didn’t just give her a job. It extended her family.

“I’ve worked at a lot of places, and this is the best one,” she says. “I like working here. Everything they do is for the residents. Glenmeadow is always trying to think of new events or new ways to engage residents. Everything is done well.”

Sue started working at our life plan community 10 years ago, originally as a housekeeper—because she wanted a change of pace from previous caregiving jobs—and then, three years ago, she transitioned back into the familiar role of certified nurse’s assistant (CNA). Her work is to offer residents a helping hand with daily tasks.

The American Red Cross provided a training that allowed Sue to update her CNA skills, and Glenmeadow’s Staff Education Fund covered the cost. “It was easy to get back into the swing of things,” Sue says. “I still enjoy it.

“We help residents to be as independent as they can be,” she says. “We help with everyday activities, and we travel with them to activities, functions, and performances—those kinds of things. Whatever they need assistance with, whatever they want to do, that’s why we’re here.”

Earlier this year, our health care coordinator, JoAnn Paier, saw that Sue embodied the qualities that the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association looks for when handing out its annual Excellence Awards—dedication, caring, compassion and service to community and the assisted living industry. So, JoAnn nominated Sue for a 2017 award, and Sue attended a banquet in May to be acknowledged as one of 150 nominees.

“It was such a surprise,” says Sue. “I don’t like to be singled out because our work here is a joint effort. We all work together as a team. But it was kind of JoAnn to think of me.”

Sue had a long professional career before arriving at Glenmeadow. Out of high school, she worked at Heritage Hall, a nursing home, before leaving to focus on raising a family.

She later worked at such communities as the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Spectrum Health Systems, and at the Sisters of Providence, where she served on the kitchen’s wait staff.

When she saw a housekeeping job open up at Glenmeadow 10 years ago, she was eager for a change and was pleased to secure a caregiving role three years ago. In addition to having close relationships with staff members, Sue has also bonded with our residents and maintains caring friendships with them.

Recently, one of the residents spent time in an area hospital. Concerned, Sue visited her after work hours. “We get attached to each other,” Sue says. “You miss people who aren’t there. And they’ll tell me when I come back from vacation, ‘we missed you.’

“We are a family to them, as they are to us,” she adds. “Every day I go into work, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. How great is that?”


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