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Did You Know?Serving Seniors is My Passion – Susan O’Dell.describes the three Ganton facilities on South Helmer Road, the Heritage As- sisted Living, Re- flections Memory Care, and Lakeview Assisted Living is only a part of whatSusan does. “I’m also a guidance counsel- or, aide, and tour guide helping families make the decision on choosing a facility,” she says with a smile. When I met her at the Heritage she asked me politely if I’d have a seat while she escorted a resident to his next activity for the day. “Any time I walk into Reflections, I see people up and moving,” she tells me. “Our residents are participating in their favorite activities. It might be bowling, golfing or maybe even singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The entire room of residents sing along to that one!” Susan laughs. “We have trails behind the facility and take residents out on trail-rides. There’s so much for them to do here.” In my short time at theBY KATHY BANFIELD SHAWknew social media has come to assisted living in such a positive way? And that’s just one way the facility keeps families in touch with their loved ones.All these activities are overseen by people who Susan told me are truly in- spired by what they do and believe in what they do. “The day begins here with a meeting that involves everyone who is in touch with our residents... including the maintenance staff,” she says. “They may see or experience something that the rest of us do not. Our priority is provid- ing the residents and their families’ secu- rity. The whole team is involved with a loved one’s care.”This was just one of the remarkable aspects I learned about from Ganton Mar- keting Associate Susan O’Dell. I asked her how she knew she was now doing the kind of work for which she was intended. “I knew it was right for me when I real- ized how much I enjoyed going to work in the morning,” she said. “It was no longer a chore. I woke up before the alarm clock went off and I was looking forward to work and the best part was being surrounded by all these people.”Susan came to assisted living after a career in the medical field. She was in business management for a surgery center on the east side of Michigan. “I was introduced to skilled nursing when I moved to West Michigan to help my sister who became ill,” she explained. “A friend told me I should consider care- giving because I was good at it.” Susan went on to tell me, “A light bulb went off and I had a life-changing epiphany. I was going through the empty nest syndrome. My kids were all gone so the caregiver part of me said, I could help take care of these people,” she told me. “I know people look at others with Alzheimer’s or dementia and they don’t see strength as a trait. For me, someone who is going through this, especially in the early stag- es where they have lucid moments, and they know what’s happening to them... that’s the epitome of the word strength... enduring the pain of knowing what’s happening.”8SCENE 4405 I CELEBRATING SENIORSDid you know that if you have a family member in one of Ganton’s facilities you can arrange to have a caregiver set up Facetime with that loved one? WhoHeritage I listened while someone was telling residents about the history behind Cinco de Mayo, several people were en- sconced in the library in what looked like a book discussion, and I believe I heard sing- ing somewhere.Marketing ‘the buildings’ as SusanALYSSA DERUITER STYLIST2545 Capital Ave., SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015 269-565-1134 | www.circa6salon.comGift Certificates, Gift Packages & AVEDA Products AvailableEven in Susan’s “off-time” when she’s with her fiancée Mike Shilton riding the trails or remodeling their cabin near Gray- ling with their combined six children and six grandchildren, she takes time to assist her neighbors with the choices they need to make about assisted care. “I can answer their questions without feeling guilty that I’m not telling them about Ganton in Battle Creek!”269-965-2979www.shawcommunication.comT. R. Shaw Jr. Co-Founder / CEO / 269-209-5555 cell / Kathy Shaw Co-Founder / President / 269-209-9719 cell / KSBANFSH@gmail.comSusan can be found most days either answering questions from prospective new residents and their families or strolling the halls listening to residents’ answers to the question, “What’s one thing you like about the Heritage?” and then finding a way to ensure it happens.

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