Danielle Bailey Cultivates a Family Feeling
Recreation team member Danielle Bailey's smile alone can brighten your day and because she is doing what she loves - working with seniors - Danielle smiles a lot! Even as a child, Danielle loved spending time with older adults. “My grandmother lived with us when I was a child and, because of that, I’ve always felt a connection to seniors.” When she was in high school she became a companion for one of her older neighbors and knew she was destined for a career in caregiving.
Danielle was born and raised in Millerton, NY, where she lives with her husband and two children. Before she married, she waitressed at the White Hart, where she met Noble's Dietary Director, Sandy Gomez. “I was planning on getting married at the time and needed something a bit more steady where I could still meet and help people and Sandy knew that,” recalls Danielle. “She eventually hired me to work in Noble's dietary department in 2004 where I started as a dietary supervisor and absolutely loved it.” She was thrilled to work in a community so well respected for its exceptional care of seniors. “I have always held Noble in high regard. When I was in high school I worked in the Sharon Health Care Center and Sharon Hospital and Noble was thought of as the holy grail of Nursing Facilities in the community,” she recalls. “Not much has changed here, we are still the best of the best and do everything possible to make residents and families feel comfortable.”
In 2011, Danielle joined Noble’s Pastoral Care Department and eventually became a full-time member of the Recreation Department where she spreads contagious goodwill with her buoyant personality. She is constantly seeking new ways to enrich the lives of those in her care. Her most recent initiative is this season's outdoor farm-to-table gardening program for which she was specially trained and certified. “We have been doing outdoor gardening for several years with the help of the Salisbury Garden Center and have been using the veggies to prepare meals,” says Danielle. “This is the first year we have done it all ourselves. We are very blessed to have the financial backing of the Auxiliary to purchase raised beds so our residents don’t have to get on the ground to garden.” Without hesitation, Danielle says the response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic; the residents enjoy the hands-on teamwork and are looking forward to harvesting, preparing and eating what they have grown. Danielle says, “Gardening brings back very happy memories of the past for them. I often hear stories of childhood gardening or canning when they were young adults. We have all found it very therapeutic.”
As for the future, Danielle reflects, “It’s a bit of a tough question to answer specifically. I love what I do to enhance the daily lives of the residents here... I would love to work more directly with our Memory Care population at some point but no matter what the future holds, the most rewarding experience here is getting to know everyone on a personal level and having them feel safe within our care. I feel as though they are family to me and they feel the same. If I can do anything to make them happy in this stage of their life I will — they deserve it!”