Staff Spotlight: Lisa McCartin

May 1, 2024

When Lisa McCartin, residency counselor, was a psychology student at Bloomsburg University, she took a gerontology course that required a one-week community service experience. She spent a week at Chestnut Knoll, a personal care community in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.

“I had a great experience,” Lisa reflects. “There was one resident who made an impact on me. He was so kind and just needed someone to talk to. That was my first experience with a senior living community and it shaped my career. Later I completed an internship with an assisted living community, where I helped with activities. I loved building connections with residents.”

After graduating, Lisa worked for Berks County Children and Youth Services for a year, but she quickly found herself back in senior services, working for the Chester County Department of Aging. After her son and daughter were born, she continued to work part-time with the Department of Aging as a case manager and assessor. “I helped lower income, older adults stay in their homes. I connected them with resources that would allow them to remain independent.”

When her youngest child headed off to kindergarten, Lisa returned to work full time, this time as a residency counselor with Frederick Living.

It was a bit of a career shift for her. “I used to advocate for people to stay in their homes; now I recognize the value of living in community,” Lisa says. As a residency counselor, Lisa helps people move into independent living or directly into personal care or memory support.

Lisa helped her in-laws move to Frederick Living two years ago. They enjoyed their personal care apartment; her mother-in-law recently transitioned to memory support.

“It’s very reassuring to my husband and our extended family that we know the quality of care they are receiving. My mother-in-law has dementia, so we know she’s safe in Aspen Village. As they were making the decision about where to move, Frederick Living was our first choice. It turned out to be the best choice as well, because it allows them to be closer to extended family. I’m thankful they are part of this community,” Lisa says.

She encourages people to make a decision about a retirement community sooner rather than later. She says, “People often ask me, ‘How do I know I’m ready?’ I tell them, if they are looking they are ready. Too often, people don’t understand the wait time. It’s very beneficial to get on a waiting list now so that when they are emotionally ready, they will be higher on the list. Too often people wait too long and then need to move directly to healthcare. They miss the benefits of independent living at Frederick.”

Frederick Living’s welcoming and family-friendly culture makes a difference to Lisa. “I love the welcoming community of Frederick Living. It’s a very family-oriented atmosphere where staff and residents get to know each other and their families. I love walking down the hall because everyone says hello to each other.”

Lisa sees Frederick Living’s recent affiliation with Garden Spot Communities as a positive change. “We are open to new ideas, new programming, new faces. I’m excited about the new opportunities we will experience now and in the future.”

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