25 Years Later, Beatriz Still Feels Among Family
Suggest to Beatriz Villagomez, a resident care manager at The Falls at Cordingly Dam, that residents at the Benchmark community in Newton are lucky to have her and she unleashes a contagious laugh. The humble native of Bolivia then pauses to consider her response.
“I am lucky to have them,” she says.
As Benchmark celebrates 25 years, Villagomez celebrates her own quarter-century at The Falls. The secret to her longevity?
“The company has been good to me from the beginning,” she says. “It has always been like a family. I have always loved the people, and so I enjoy it. I never even thought of leaving here.
They have given me so many opportunities. My sons worked part-time here when they were going to college. It’s a very family-oriented company.”
Villagomez arrived in the United States in 1989 and began working in private care. She had been a teacher in Bolivia and had enjoyed working with children. When the opportunity presented itself at Benchmark, transitioning to care for adults seemed natural. Looking back, she says, her maternal instincts kicked in, making the transition an easy one.
“I check on the residents and I ask if there is anything that they need,” says Villagomez. “I may remind them to go to dinner and help to get them settled after. You just want them to know they are in a safe place. It’s like being a mom.”
What the residents need more than anything, Villagomez has learned, is a comforting smile and patient demeanor. So those are things she brings to work every day.
“They like to know there is someone there for them – and that you care. Even if my accent is hard to understand, they smile and they understand. They’re just so sweet,” she said.
Villagomez is happy to celebrate her anniversary, as well as that of Benchmark. She expects there to be more celebrations in the future.
“I have always been happy and comfortable here,” she says. “Why would I ever change?”