Meet the Team! Community Life Leader of The Hearth at Drexel Shares Her Story of Creativity and Fun

FEBRUARY 26, 2021

Community Life Leader of The Hearth at Drexel, Maureen McShea, goes above and beyond to ensure residents experience meaningful opportunities for engagement and fun. With a passion for helping older adults find meaning and purpose in their everyday lives, Maureen’s dedication brings joy to many throughout this beautiful community.

Maureen’s educational background is in recreational therapy, which is how she discovered her special gift for working with adults in their later years. “I went to Temple University and I completed my junior year internship in a retirement community,” she recalls. “Originally, I thought I would try working in pediatrics, but after working with older adults my junior year, I knew I had a special calling for helping this population,” she explains.

After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy, Maureen began working as Director of Activities and Life Enrichment Coordinator in a local retirement community. “I was responsible for planning activities for residents in personal care and memory care,” she says. After working with this community for three years, Maureen discovered an opportunity at The Hearth and was eager to get involved.

Maureen Begins Her Journey with The Hearth at Drexel

Beginning her work as The Hearth’s Community Life Leader in the winter of 2019, Maureen has greatly enjoyed engaging residents in numerous activities and bringing joy to their daily routines. A multi-faceted role, Maureen plans a wide variety of community life programs that are personalized to residents’ unique interests.

“Our residents at The Hearth are very intellectual. They enjoy learning. One program I lead is our Nature Series which involves informational lectures on different topics that residents are interested in. We’ve done everything from the coral reef to frogs to carnivorous plants,” Maureen describes. “We also watch documentaries after the lectures are complete, which the residents really enjoy,” she adds. With numerous activities to choose from, Maureen also leads The Hearth’s most popular Jeopardy game. “That’s one of our residents’ favorites,” she says.

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Throughout COVID-19, The Hearth’s Community Life team has gone above and beyond to ensure residents can continue to participate in their favorite activities. “The pandemic has really given us the opportunity to get creative and come up with safe solutions for our Community Life programs,” she reflects. Whether residents are participating in Virtual Book Club on Zoom, staying active with socially distanced exercises classes, or planting potted gardens in the comfort of their own apartments, there are numerous opportunities for residents to engage in programs they truly enjoy.

As Maureen helps residents discover new horizons with enriching activities, she greatly enjoys building lasting relationships with the people who call The Hearth home.

Developing meaningful connections with residents across all levels of care, Maureen understands the positive impact Community Life programs can have on residents’ overall well-being. And she remains committed to uplifting their wellness each and every day. “My goal as Community Life Leader is to enhance our residents’ quality of life with different activities that meet their wellness needs. Whether it’s physical, emotional, social, or cognitive, our programs strive to benefit residents in all of these ways,” she affirms.

As community life programs give residents numerous opportunities to achieve a fulfilling retirement, residents feel lucky to live in a community where they can pursue a wide variety of interests.

Introducing residents to new, safe activities that suit their unique interests, Maureen looks forward to continue building connections throughout the community. “I’ve developed close relationships with the residents who live here. The most rewarding part of my role is when they express how much an activity made their day and it lets me know that what we are doing here is really making a positive impact on residents’ daily lives.”