Towne Lake Life Engagement Manager Emily Horne was honored as one of two Hero Award Winners at the 2018 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference this year. Below is an article that appeared in Senior Living Executive Magazine highlighting many of the reasons why Emily was nominated for the prestigious award and how she makes such a difference in her residents’ lives. Congratulations, Emily!
During Emily Horne’s 15 years of work in retail, she always gravitated toward helping the older customers. When she took the opportunity to interview for a job as an activities assistant at Autumn Leaves of Towne Lake, she was hired on the spot—the executive director knew instinctively that Emily was the right fit. It is no surprise that she was promoted to life engagement manager not long after.
Emily works with memory care residents where her energy and positivity is both necessary and appreciated by residents and staff alike. In fact, she is lovingly known as the sunshine of Towne Lake! The passion she has for working with her residents is evident, and in one specific case, truly went above and beyond anyone’s highest expectations. When Emily learned that a couple living at Autumn Leaves of Towne Lake had been founding members of their local church and realized the importance of a spiritual connection for them, she quickly organized a non-denominational Sunday service right at the community—a delight not just for the couple, but for their family as well. When she felt they needed more, with their family’s approval, she began personally taking them to a new service not far from the community, even on her days off. While the couple has since passed away, the family is forever grateful for the care and dedication Emily showed them and remain some of her biggest cheerleaders.
One of Emily’s proudest achievements is her Kennesaw State University Reading Club. Autumn Leaves of Towne Lake was one of just four applicants in the entire state of Georgia accepted into a continuing education endowment program through KSU, a testament to Emily’s determination to give her residents every opportunity to thrive. To date, her community remains the highest performing location of the four recipients.
“I have never witnessed such energy, enthusiasm, and outright commitment from anyone as I see from Emily. I’ve had family members come to the community to sit in on activities just to be a part of the positive energy she exudes. Her enthusiasm is truly contagious. She radiates joy,” said Angekia Scott, executive director at Autumn Leaves of Towne Lake.
Emily is known for putting others before herself. As a snowstorm approached last year, she invited one of her team members to stay the night at her home; Emily lived just a short drive from the community and though she was not scheduled to work the next day, she wanted to be sure there was no interruption in the residents’ scheduled activities. When the snow rendered driving unsafe, Emily bundled up, along with her family, and walked with her colleague two miles to the community where she ended up putting in a full day of work when she realized her team needed the extra help.
Emily also continues to seek out opportunities to learn more about working with and caring for those with dementia. After taking a Virtual Dementia Tour® to experience life in her residents’ shoes, she attended a dementia support group to better understand what family members cope with during this time. She can often be found reading up the latest Alzheimer’s research or taking notes as she watches a video teaching the latest in dementia caregiving techniques.
“For many of us, caring for loved ones with memory loss is uncharted territory, and having someone like Emily who can help you navigate through it is a blessing,” said a family member of a resident at Autumn Leaves of Towne Lake.