Introducing Ashlea Smalley – National Director of Memory Care and Life Enrichment
October 26th 2022
Ashlea Smalley is the National Director of Memory Care and Life Enrichment at Grace Management, Inc. Ashlea has been working with older adults in some capacity all her life. This has continued into her career for the past 15 years. She has been the National Director of Memory Care and Life Enrichment at Grace Management, Inc. since June 2021.
Ashlea’s passion for older adults is evident; she states that: “Educating others on older adults has always been something that is really important to me. I knew very early on that I wanted to work with the older adult population.”
Here at Grace Management, Inc., Ashlea oversees all of the Life Enrichment programs for The Village Program®, our memory care program, as well as our assisted and independent living Life Enrichment programs. Ashlea works to ensure that the activities in each community are meaningful and intentional for the residents that live within our communities.
The Village Program® at Grace Management, Inc. is specifically designed for people living with dementia – to help them reflect on past memories, rejoice and create new moments of joy each day, and renew hope each day. We invite residents to continue to do things for themselves in a meaningful and intentional way rather than doing everything for them. This program is designed to have a neighborhood feel where each resident has a purpose and a role that they can continue to take on each day.
Alongside everything Ashlea does at Grace Management, Inc., she also works as a part-time adjunct instructor at Northern Illinois University, where she helped design a course on dementia studies.
Currently, Ashlea is pursuing her Doctorate with a specialty in the importance of social connection for older adults and the effects of social isolation. Ashlea stated: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, in my role, I felt helpless in how to support older adults when I couldn’t come into a community.” This spurred her interest in being prepared to help older adults in times of isolation, not only in extreme conditions, such as a pandemic, but also anytime after they move into a senior living community.
Thank you, Ashlea, for all you do at Grace Management, Inc.!