The California Assisted Living Association (CALA) has announced that Sarah Perez, Memory Care Program Manager with Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura, has received the organization’s prestigious Outstanding Department Director award at their Fall Conference & Trade Show in Rancho Mirage. CALA chooses recipients of these awards based on their commitment to providing outstanding, quality care and service to residents in the Assisted Living communities where they work. Perez received her award on October 24, 2016.
According to executive director Steve Spira, “Sarah may think no one is watching, but we at Cypress Place can see that excellence and superlatives are simply silent badges she wears every day.”
Perez began working at the community 13 years ago as a caregiver, and is currently in charge of the memory care Vibrant Life program.
Co-workers and family members say that Perez’s greatest talent lies in the fact that she really “knows” residents and takes cues from them to create personalized, engaging activities. She noticed on a recent outing that residents were expressing concern for homeless individuals, so she organized a group to craft blankets for them. She also organized the “Yahtzee Girls Club” after many residents told her they like to play dice games.
This creativity extends to individual residents as well. One resident was continually talking about his WWII experience. Perez worked with his wife to create a slide show of his military life and hold a celebration of his service. Her philosophy of care is, “When residents are laughing and engaged, they’re not experiencing fear or trepidation.”
“This is a well-deserved award for Sarah, and we are thankful she is part of the Cypress Place team assisting our residents in such a loving and dignified manner,” said Spira.