Never A Dull Moment: A Conversation With Activities Director Gigi GazaniSeptember 23, 2016 | Chateau Brickyard
If you follow Chateau Brickyard on social media, or have downloaded one of our activity calendars, you know that we like to stay busy. Our active senior living community in Salt Lake City, UT, offers activities for our residents 365 days a year. Each and every day, we have 5-10 activities available for our residents (that's over 200 activities a month!). From themed celebrations to clubs for hobbies like sewing or painting, there is no shortage of fun in our independent senior living community.
But our robust activities program would not be possible without the hard work and creativity of Chateau Brickyard's Activities Director Gigi Gazani. Gigi is a mother to a little boy and is currently attending Salt Lake City Community College, where she is on the honor roll and is studying to become a nurse. She started working at Chateau Brickyard in early 2016, and since then she has brought joy and laughter to our community with the activities that she plans. Since activities are so central to what we do here at Chateau Brickyard, we sat down for an interview with Gigi, who is described as very talented and full of personality. Read on to get a deeper look into how Gigi became an Activities Director, our resident's favorite activities, and more:
How did you find yourself as an Activities Director?
I am naturally from Peru and moved to the United States at age 17. I learned English in about a year, but was a very shy person and tried many ways to get myself out of my comfort zone. I found a job as an Activities Assistant and thought that might be a good way for me to get out of my shell. I am so glad I gave this type of role a chance, because I found that I have a knack for coming up with and planning activities. I spent a year and a half in that Activities Assistant role, and little by little my shyness went away. After that positive experience, I decided to pursue an even larger activities role and applied for my current job as Chateau Brickyard's Activities Director.
What do you enjoy about your role as Activities Director?
I completely love my job. I love that Chateau Brickyard is its own community, I felt right at home here from the beginning. I love being able to provide that sense of community and happiness for our residents - every smile of every resident is a big reward for me. I have a job where I find myself smiling every single day and I love that.
What's your favorite thing about working with seniors?
My favorite thing about working with seniors is watching them enjoy life. It is truly a pleasure to provide them with the opportunity to do things that they haven't done in a very long time. To watch them be young again is a real treat.
How do you choose which activities to include on your calendar each month?
At Chateau Brickyard, we prioritize what we call "tailored preferences." This means that our activity program involves many activities that are resident requests or that our residents simply love. Every month there is an activities meeting where our residents suggest ideas for new activities. I also do research on what's new in the world and, depending on that, I may come up with even more new activities.
Do you take suggestions from residents?
Yes! I love suggestions and new ideas. I like to make sure our resident's needs are being met by our activities program and that they never run out of things to do.
What are some favorite activities or hobbies amongst residents that surprised you?
Jenga is one of the activities I added to our calendar in my first few months at Chateau Brickyard. Jenga is a tower of blocks in which you have to take blocks out one by one and put them on top of the tower without making the tower fall--whoever makes it fall loses. It is a very challenging game that the residents definitely love! It even helps those whose hands shake--they have all gotten really good at it!
What's been your favorite program to put on?
Happy Hour is one of our top activities at Chateau Brickyard. This activity used to simply be a time for residents to visit with each other, but I changed it to a time where they can play oldies, dance, and have fun! I make sure to get all residents to dance with me (no exceptions!). It is my favorite activity to put on, because I love how residents become young again when they dance.
At Chateau Brickyard, our activity program gives our residents the option to do as much or as little as they prefer. Our dedicated staff members like Gigi help to make these tailored services and amenities possible. With the help of our staff members, we have created an active senior living community where our residents can enjoy every day knowing they have 24-hour support if they need it. Read more about our amazing Chateau Brickyard staff on our website, or schedule a tour today and meet our team in person.
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