Karen works at Homestead Village as the Life Enrichment Program Manager. She started her career in activities in 2018 as a Life Enrichment Assistant followed by LE Coordinator in the Skilled Care Memory Support Household. Karen received her Activity Director Certification in 2022 and is Certified Dementia Practitioner. Karen holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Millersville University and was an elementary teacher in her previous career. Karen enjoys getting to know the residents and their families and bringing meaning, purpose and joy to their lives. Karen is married and the mother of two grown sons and a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier named Murphy.
I have been in the activity profession for 28 years. I started my career at Brethren Village as a Recreational Therapy aide, and was later promoted to supervisor. Part of my role at BV was overseeing the activity staff and programs for the skilled nursing floors, which at one time consisted of 212 beds! After 11 years, I made a career move to St. Anne’s Retirement Community as the Skilled Activity Coordinator. Very shortly after the move, I was promoted to the Activity Director for the entire community, which includes the Healthcare Center with a Memory Support Unit, Personal Care with a Memory Support Unit, and the Independent Living section of apartments and cottages.
I received my Activity Director Certification (many moons ago), and also received my Certified Dementia Practitioner certification approximately 9 years ago. I served as LADA treasurer while I was employed at Brethren Village and I held office as LADA President from 2010-2012, and 2018-2020. Other fun facts include that I am CPR certified, I have a certificate that allows me to teach Chair Chi (which is Tai Chi, while seated), and I drive the bus for almost all activity related bus trips! I have taken many classes at Millersville University and York College, and may someday complete my degree in Therapeutic Recreation, with a minor in Gerontology. I currently enjoy spending time with my husband of 24 years, our two children, and one granddaughter.
Although I have been working in long-term care for a long time, I feel that my passion is still as fresh as when I started! I love bringing joy, laughter and happiness to my residents. I find pride in the fact that we (as a profession) are able to enhance the quality of lives through the programs and services we offer (even as we are living in a pandemic)! Our work can be exhausting, and all of the regulations and Covid restrictions have made our jobs increasingly challenging. I appreciate all the work that LADA does to provide opportunities for our profession to network, stay current on the regulations and upcoming changes/trends as well as make continuing education credits available for those of us who need them at such an affordable rate.
LADA will offer a maximum of $1,000 in scholarships per year. Please follow the criteria listed in the application to apply.
The current LADA officers are as follows:
Teresa graduated from Lock Haven University with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation and Minor in Psychology. She worked with Mental Health adults and adolescents post college and has had LTC experience since 2009. For the past 10 years, she has enjoyed being Director of Recreation Therapy at Pleasant View Communities for Skilled Healthcare. Teresa is also the mother of 3, ages 16,11, and 5. When not working, her time is occupied with spending time at her children’s sporting events which keeps her busy for much of the year.
Kayla works at Mennonite Home Communities as a Life Enrichment Specialist on their dementia households. She started her career in 2020 as an Activity aide at ManorCare in Lebanon. In 2021, she became an Activity aide at Mennonite Home and a year late got promoted to the specialist position. She received her CDP certification in March of this year. Kayla enjoys brining joy to the residents and has fun planning special events and themed parties. When not at work, she enjoys going to the beach, reading, trying new coffee shops, and hanging out with her husband and dog.
Kristin has been working in Therapeutic Recreation for most of the past 20 years, starting at a Sunrise Assisted Living facility in NJ in 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in dramatic productions from Bob Jones University, and has always loved extra-curricular activities such as acting, singing, games, and sports. Working in Activities seemed like a good fit from the start, after volunteering at the Glen at Willow Valley Communities in 1999, reading the newspaper to residents there. Kristin worked as an Activity Assistant at St. Anne’s Retirement Community for 5 years, then moved on to be the director at Conestoga View Nursing & Rehab, where she stayed for over 12 years, and achieved her Activity Director’s Certification in 2011. Kristin is thrilled to be working at Meadow Ridge Personal Care at Willow Valley Communities since November 2021. She loves working with people, finding out what they’d like to do, and help them achieve their goals while having fun!
My passion for activities began while I was working as a home health aide for an elderly neighbor. After she passed away, I got a job at the Mennonite Home as a part-time homemaker, which was a role that blended food service with activities. My passion for activities grew and I took a full-time position as a Life Enrichment assistant. Shortly after, I was able to upgrade my position to Life Enrichment Specialist, and more recently to Life Enrichment Manager, overseeing both our healthcare and personal care areas. I have worked in activities for approximately 15 years and have enjoyed being a member of LADA during that time. I hold an Activity Director Certification and more recently became a Certified Dementia Practitioner and Resident Assistant. I am currently taking a Validation Worker course.
I enjoy scheduling performers for the Mennonite Home, which led me to volunteer as the program chair for LADA. I look forward to bringing fun and educational programs to our group!