Welcoming New Tapestry Program Director Jennifer Ellis
Whitney Place at Sharon recently welcomed new Tapestry Program Director Jennifer Ellis. SALMON’s Tapestry Program is dedicated to providing Residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias specialized care in a setting that provides a sense of order, familiarity, and comfort.
Ellis has almost a decade of experience in long-term care settings. She most recently managed engagement programming for both assisted living and memory care Residents but found she always had an affinity for working with memory care Residents.
“Memory care Residents’ perspective of the world can vary depending on the day,” explains Ellis. “I love talking with them and spending genuine, quality time with them to better understand their view and offer support.”
One of Ellis’s favorite activities to organize is a high tea—an old, social tradition of having tea and a meal after work or an activity. Ellis puts a lot of effort and creativity in organizing this event for Residents, explaining, “I go to various antique stores to find nice, unique teacups, and look for elegant napkins, different high-end teas, and more!” She looks forward to coordinating a high tea in the Sharon community soon.
In addition, Ellis is especially eager for springtime at Whitney Place, explaining that many Residents in the community have a “green thumb.”
Ellis’ passion for working with the geriatric population started while participating in theater programs when she was young. Reflecting, Ellis describes that during that time, she “had a lot of close relationships with older-aged theater volunteers.” Through this experience, she developed a deeper appreciation for people of all ages and felt drawn to those of older generations.
Ellis emphasizes the importance of caring for memory care Residents with dignity and respect; they are successful people who have lived full lives and are now enjoying life in different ways.
When asked what she likes best about the Tapestry Program, Ellis says she enjoys that it features two Neighborhoods, based on Resident abilities. “This is effective and allows each individual to truly enjoy the activities while engaging with their peers.”
In addition to the program itself, Ellis has been very impressed with the engagement assistants and personal care assistants (PCAs) who “go above and beyond and truly care for their Residents; it’s been a long time since I’ve worked in a setting with such dedicated staff members.”
Ellis lives in Whitman with her husband and their two cats—she loves trying new things and most recently started learning how to roller-skate!