Bidding Farewell to a Compassionate Employee

Bidding Farewell to a Compassionate Employee

January 23, 2019

Throughout Carol Baj’s career, the consistent answer to the varied questions residents asked her was “Yes.”

“Can I get a ride to the nursing home to visit my wife?”

Yes.

“I’m ready to leave the hospital today. Can the van pick me up?”

Yes.

Carol’s goal each and every day for the past 22 years was to improve the daily lives of our residents. She had many ways to make this happen.

When residents accidentally left their keys inside their mailboxes, for instance, Carol turned the embarrassment they felt into contentment when they returned to retrieve them. “I tell them, you were talking with somebody. That’s why you forgot your keys,” Carol explained. “You had a wonderful conversation with someone. You are enjoying your life.”

We are honored to have had Carol on our staff team since July 1997. Residents and staff alike will miss her as she retired yesterday—which was also her birthday.

Even Carol knows, though, that our residents are in good hands, that they will feel the compassion and dedication from all of our other staff members, each and every day.

“There’s friendship. There’s camaraderie,” she says. “If a resident is struggling and a staff member is assisting, another employee will always step in to help. It’s a very caring staff, all the way around, in every department.

“The cook will stop and get down on his knee to talk with someone and tell her what’s for dinner,” Carol adds. “It’s touching. That’s every day. There’s always a story like that.”

Carol began her work here answering the phone and leaves from the position of lead concierge; she supervised 18 other staff members. She watched over the years as Glenmeadow has grown, both physically and in service to the community.

Carol watched as we built our Longmeadow campus and created the thriving life plan community we have today, complete with enhanced programs and services that also benefit older adults living independently in Greater Springfield. “It definitely has changed from a place where an older person could have an apartment to a loving community,” she says. “I see staff taking care of residents. I see residents taking care of residents. I see staff taking care of staff. It’s a very warm place.”

Like Carol, many of our staff members spend the bulk of their careers with us, as they agree that Glenmeadow is a family, a place to call home. The longevity and staff continuity allow our residents to build healthy, trusting, long-term relationships with those who care for them on a daily basis.

Carol wishes she could individually thank and praise all of her colleagues. She stresses that her supervisor, Anne Miller, our vice president of operations, has been a “wonderful role model on this wonderful journey.”

In retirement, Carol will do the kinds of things one can’t do when they are holding down a full-time job. She will travel and spend more time with all of her grandchildren.

Carol will miss us at Glenmeadow, but she holds the hope and knowledge that we will continue to stay connected.

She says, “One of the residents came to the front desk recently to say goodbye. She said, ‘Thank you for living with us for such a long time.’

Carol gets weepy as she adds, “It still makes me cry. I have been privileged to live in their home with them. This is what happens every day. It’s beautiful. We are a friendly community.”

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