Everyone Is a Caregiver

August 29, 2018

Longtime plant operations directors provide special care for residents.

While walking her dog on the grounds at New Pond Village, a resident startled a flock of wild turkeys into flight, causing one to crash through fellow resident Ginnie’s living room window.  Unharmed, the big bird flew away, leaving behind a mess. 

Assuming the clean-up and window replacement would take time, the Benchmark community offered Ginnie a guest suite for the night, but Dave Marascio and John Curtin, New Pond Village’s plant operations directors, knew the beloved 98-year-old preferred to stay in her home. While Ginnie enjoyed dinner with her usual companions, Dave and John cleaned the room and replaced the window. 

It was all in a day’s work for Dave and John, who are regarded as heroes by the community’s residents. Though they may not perform the same daily tasks as traditional caregivers, these two longtime associates embody the Benchmark values: Called to Care, Better Together, Be the Benchmark.

While the plant operations staff often work in the community’s common areas, the crew spends most of their time helping residents in New Pond Village’s 212 apartments. 

Beyond regular maintenance, Dave and John install cat doors, fix cable TV connections, open jars and even drill new holes in residents’ belts. Those reluctant to burden their children with requests know they can depend on John and Dave, and family members take comfort in the special care they provide to their loved ones.

“These small things mean so much to our residents,” says John. “It promotes their well-being. I’ve been here for 20 years, and Dave has been with us for 10. I love what I do and who I do it for.” 

“We meet residents in our offices and common areas,” says Director of Business Administration Ann Attaway. “John and Dave help residents in the intimacy of their homes, where they develop deeper relationships. They consider themselves as guests in the residents’ homes, and they treat residents like family.”

Good work ethic runs in the family. While Dave is Ann Attaway’s younger brother, John’s wife, Lori, is a hostess, their son is a dishwasher, and their two daughters have been waitresses. The New Pond Village staff also includes two sets of sisters. 

“We even have the children of former residents working here,” says Ann. “It’s a cool place.”

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