GreenFields Welcomes New Life Enrichment Manager

“I’ve always wanted to help people my whole life,” said Kaitlyn Melendy. “I started to go to nursing school right out of high school. I want to be there for people and help them, but I learned that I just can’t do needles, and that’s not good for a nurse.” Kaitlyn, the new life enrichment manager at GreenFields of Geneva, is fulfilling her desire to help people by providing opportunities for the residents of the senior living community to pursue active, engaged lives.

Before coming to GreenFields, Kaitlyn, a resident of Dundee, worked as an activities aide for memory care residents in a retirement community in the northern suburbs. “I immediately fell in love with the population,” she said. “I loved seeing them smile and laugh and enjoy their lives.”

Kaitlyn learned about the life enrichment job opening at GreenFields. “I’d seen their Balcony Bash concert during COVID on the news. And I looked at GreenFields’ Facebook page. It seemed like it would be a wonderful place to work.”

Her impression proved accurate as she started her new job late this summer. “People are so active here. Lifestyles programming is a priority here,” she said, adding, “It’s a gorgeous community, and everybody is always smiling and friendly. I felt comfortable immediately.”

Kaitlyn said that the residents have been extremely welcoming. “They’ve all made me feel like their granddaughter. There’s never a bad day here.”

During Kaitlyn’s second week at work, the community held GreenFields Classic. The annual weeklong event features physical and cognitive competitions for the residents. “I’ve never seen anything like that in senior living. The residents were really good at all the activities and had a lot of fun. The residents were very engaged.”

Kaitlyn is excited to maintain GreenFields’ robust activities calendar. She also hopes to introduce some of her own ideas. “Maybe we’ll do a car show next year, and we might start showing drive-in-like movies. We’re considering relaunching the pen-pals program. Later this month we're visiting a horse rescue ranch, and we’re looking to keep expanding our Gems of Geneva program, which brings area businesses into our community.”

Click here to read the story as it appears in The Daily Herald.


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