Matter at Senior Living Communities
– Christie Martin –
At Homestead Hills Senior Living Community in Winston-Salem, Members of the community enjoy connecting with their neighbors who are at a similar place in life. Social events, clubs, and trips help to shape the vibrant network of caring neighbors and community at Homestead Hills. The mission of the community is to help Members live longer, healthier, happier lives. At the helm of all social programming and events is Social Director, Christie Martin. We recently sat down with her to talk about her position and how she’s constantly working to re-imagine and re-define social events at Homestead Hills.
1. What is your position at Homestead Hills?
2. How long have you been at Homestead Hills?
12 years and 1 month
3. How did you find this position?
My Mom worked for Senior Living Communities (the parent company of Homestead Hills) for about ten years. She was a Lifestyle Advisor at the first property, Lakes of Point West when CEO, Donald Thompson asked her to come to Homestead Hills to get things up and running. The Social Director left shortly after my mom started working there so they were looking for a replacement. I had just moved to North Carolina so it seemed like the timing was perfect.
4. What excited you about this position and this company?
I love planning events, having fun, decorating, and being with people. I enjoy making people happy, and do it every chance I get to. Before joining the team, I attended a few events and got to know the company and CEO and I knew we believed in the same things. That meant a lot to me, Donald wanted to be successful by helping people be happier and healthier while living in their own homes for a longer period of time.
5. What is your favorite thing about working for Senior Living Communities?
Senior Living Communities has created a beautiful vision that I can get behind, my team members have become family, and the Members make each day a good one.
6. What is the best program that you’ve experienced at Homestead Hills?
We really enjoy snow days at Homestead Hills. When we have bad weather, we deliver meals to each person’s home in the community to ensure that our Members can stay safe in the inclement weather. Our team has so much fun preparing, planning, and caring about our Members so they can stay warm all day. It is a team effort, we work together to create the safest plan of action so each of our Members can get their meals while staying safe and warm in their homes. It’s a wonderful perk of maintenance free living!
7. Describe a time that a Member had a positive impact on your day?
I think that is a hard question to answer, there are constantly Members who make me smile. We have many Members who you are guaranteed to find telling a funny story or joke to a staff member. The moments when Members say a simple “Thank You” for what I do, that is impactful. There are jobs out there where people don’t interact with others or get to see smiles throughout the day, and I get to experience that every time I walk into Homestead Hills, I am the lucky one.
8. How have you grown professionally and personally since joining the Team?
I have matured in many ways since joining the Homestead Hills team. I used to focus on the fun that the job includes, but after looking back, the fun comes naturally as you’re focusing on helping the Members have a great time.
9. One of Senior Living Communities guiding principles is “People First. Always”. How have you seen this in practice at Homestead Hills?
Our members are the reason we come to work every day. They should be put first under every circumstance. That is why at the end of the day or if we’re rushing off to another meeting and one of them asks us something, we stop and take the time for them. We joke all the time about leaving at 5:00 pm and by the time we actually get out, it’s 5:30 pm. That’s because we’ve stopped to see how someone is or how someone is feeling or just to say hello and possibly make someone smile. That is a nice way to leave at the end of the day.
10. What is your favorite event that you’ve hosted in the last year?
Our Oktoberfest event was the best so far and we modeled it after the traditional Oktoberfest celebration in Germany so we had food, dancing and a great atmosphere for our Members throughout the day! The best part was doing the Chicken Dance, there were so many laughs and smiles. Throughout the day, we learned about a few German traditions including the Lebkuchen Herzen (Heart Shaped German Gingerbread Cookies). We made Bavarian Pretzels and while we enjoyed them, learned about their origin and how they became so popular. Food and music pair well together and they’re a huge part of Germany’s largest festival, so attendees relaxed in the Oktoberfest tent and enjoyed music by a local accordionist while sampling German meat and cheeses along with of course, beer! Attendees could be heard toasting “PROST!” to each other as they laughed and socialized in a upbeat atmosphere. The culmination of the day was a traditional German meal in the dining room, which was the perfect send-off to Oktoberfest. The day was an all-around fantastic experience where everyone had a great time!
11. Why do you think Winston-Salem is the perfect place to retire?
Winston Salem is a great place to retire. It has everything. If you enjoy a downtown type area ours is wonderful. They’ve redone downtown and it now has some great shops, new eateries, live music, outdoor movies and areas to just take a walk and enjoy the city. It’s a great place for museums, sports and gardens. We’re also a fairly short drive to the beach or the mountains. Best of all, Homestead Hills is here!
12. What is something that you’re passionate about outside of work? How do you channel that into your work each day?
Personally, I enjoy being with friends and family laughing and having a good time. I love being at Homestead Hills where I get to give back the smiles and good times. My husband and I love to go on spontaneous rides on our motorcycle up to the mountains or take a short weekend trip to the beach. I love the warm weather.