Silver Maples’ Long-Serving Employee and Resident Volunteer are Honored by LeadingAge™ Michigan

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Pam Ross, Volunteer of the Year and Penny Baker, Caring Spirit Silver Maples of Chelsea

Excellence is a key component of Silver Maples’ mission and is evident in both their experienced staff and engaging residents. LeadingAge Michigan recently honored Penny Baker and Pam Ross from Silver Maples of Chelsea for their outstanding contributions at their 2022 Annual Conference and Awards Gala.

Annually, LeadingAge Michigan honors individuals, both staff and residents of senior living communities, who embody excellence in leadership, care, and service innovation in the field of aging service. Award winners were nominated by their peers and selected by an esteemed group of committee members among many nominations across the state. This year’s gala took place in the Lansing Event Center in Lansing, Michigan. Over 200 people gathered to celebrate the elite group of 27 award winners and recognize their collective achievements.

The Caring Spirit Award recognizes the achievements of front-line staff and direct care employees who have made a significant impact on the lives of older adults. The nominee has made a significant and positive impact on the lives of seniors, possesses a strong commitment to residents, and inspires and promotes excellence in others.

Recently celebrating 20 years at Silver Maples of Chelsea, Penny Baker has served as a Resident Care Associate in The Meadows, their assisted living residence. Dedication, commitment, and a passion for serving older adults are at the heart of Silver Maples; Penny embodies all of these qualities and so much more. The special way she cares for supports, and respects our residents is a sight to behold in her role as a Resident Care Associate (RCA) and part-time receptionist. 

When asked about her role at Silver Maples, Penny shares, “Working as an RCA is hard work, emotional and yet very rewarding. There’s a story behind every resident and lessons to be learned. I enjoy knowing I’ve done the best I can for our residents."

Penny promotes excellence in others through leading by example, coaching co-workers, and treating everyone with respect. She has long been the go-to resource for new and experienced staff and has been instrumental during the pandemic as she helps staff, visitors, and residents stay current with frequently changing policies and procedures. When extra staff is needed, she will pick up shifts and help wherever she can, regardless of the job or position. Penny is the perfect example of how to treat residents with respect, love, and kindness, and what it takes to make Silver Maples feel like family.

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual or group volunteer, auxiliary, or organization working within a member community that has provided extraordinary service to older adults.

Pam Ross had an incredible history before moving to independent living at Silver Maples of Chelsea. She lived in the Arctic village in the 1960s, and conducted anthropological fieldwork there in the 1990s, and visited all seven continents as a solo traveler after retirement.

But it is her experience as a reference librarian that has greatly enhanced resident life at Silver Maples. She created an online catalog using an electronic system and then held classes with interested residents who can use the system either from the library or their apartment. Pam has also expanded the number of large print books, set up book displays, and helped create an inviting space for all members. Her countless volunteer hours have enhanced the lives of residents through an active and vibrant library. 

“Pam has been instrumental in enhancing the library for her neighbors and friends,” shares Christina Kim, Director of Marketing and Sales. “She is passionate, energetic, and driven to make a difference; Pam has been a wonderful addition to our community at Silver Maples!”

LeadingAge Michigan extends a heartfelt congratulations to Penny Baker and Pam Ross for their continued excellence and mission-based care, and quality work to better the lives of older adults in the state of Michigan! Review the 2022 Member Awards Gala Program or visit LeadingAge Michigan on YouTube to learn more about the 2022 Member Awards Gala and other award honorees.

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Silver Maples of Chelsea Retirement Neighborhood was built 25 years ago to provide housing options and a lifestyle that encourages older adults to take an active role in their lives. As a leader in the industry, Silver Maples is passionate about creating and supporting a positive aging experience for its residents. Our warm, vibrant community culture and beautiful wooded setting is an ideal location for those looking for independent or assisted living options in southeast Michigan. If you’re interested in learning more about our retirement neighborhood near Ann Arbor, visit www.silvermaples.org, connect with us on Facebook or call (734) 475-4111 to speak with our knowledgeable staff.

Founded in 1968, LeadingAge Michigan represents the mission-based providers of housing, services, and care for seniors across Michigan. LeadingAge Michigan and its members advance policies, promote practices, and conduct research that supports, enables, and empowers people to live fully as they age. Members are community-based and accountable to a voluntary board of directors, who donate their time and talents to ensure the ethical management and transparent fiscal integrity of their mission

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