Welcome to the September edition of Leadership Spotlight! In this entry, we sit down with Alyssa Spicer, Life Enrichment and Legacy Support, as she walks us through her journey and memory care experience.

Tell us about yourself. What did your life look like before Trilogy?

I am a proud Michigan native! I was born and raised a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan and grew up with a great appreciation for the Great Lakes and their unparalleled beaches. To this day, I reminisce about days gone by on that beautiful shoreline and value each opportunity I have to return. Before I worked at Trilogy, I worked in special education in public schools. I love people of all abilities! My husband of 18 years, Sean, and I call mid-Michigan home, where he is a public school music educator and music arranger of marching band halftime shows for universities and high schools across the country. We met at Michigan State University where I graduated with a BA in psychology. I’ve since been able to take advantage of Trilogy’s partnership with Purdue University Global to earn my MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

What initially drew you to Trilogy?

Relocating with my husband, I was searching for a new opportunity outside of education. While visiting his grandmother in her assisted living home, I recall seeing a whiteboard with the day’s activities listed. I thought to myself, now that sounds like a fun and rewarding job! I should do that! Well, everything happens for a reason. It was meant to be! I started applying to different companies and what stood out to me about Trilogy was the servant’s heart mentality. That was the Trilogy difference that drew me in. I’m so thankful to this day!

Tell us about your role within the company.

I have the privilege of serving as Home Office Field – Life Enrichment and Legacy Support for the North Michigan Division. I have been in this role for almost six years after serving as Life Enrichment Associate for two years and Life Enrichment Director for two years. I love many things about my job, including program development, training and employee development, Live a Dream, collaborating with other LES team members to innovate and continuously improve, and most of all time spent building relationships with and learning from residents and employees in the campuses.

What specific programs and activities help enrich the lives of those with memory loss?

I had the honor to be a part of the team that developed Trilogy’s BFF Approach, largely based on David Troxel and Virgina Bell’s approach. It seems so simple – but it can be groundbreaking for some employees to consider being with their residents as they would be with their best friends. The approach is truly relationship-based, and isn’t that what we all need? Relationships that matter? Someone who knows us and knows about our experiences, what we love, what makes us tick, what we don’t like, what makes us sad, and someone who values us as an individual? This also includes meaningful engagement – not just staying busy, but actively doing things that matter to each individual and thriving in an environment that is therapeutic for a person living with dementia. With our BFF Approach, Daily Rhythms program, and Montessori approaches, our compassionate Legacy staff lead the way by creating and promoting this therapeutic, personal, active, meaningful, caring environment each and every day.

In your eyes, what sets us apart in our approach to Memory Care?

I could probably go on for paragraphs, but I’ll try to be concise. We truly care about and value each individual. This includes residents, family members, employees, and even guests who walk in our door. We strive to honor each resident’s rich legacy – their life story. We invest in training and development – we provide education and the tools to help employees understand persons with dementia and to empower them to provide empathetic, relationship-based care. Our culture of servant leadership and continuous improvement gives a voice to each team member and we value and celebrate what each employee brings to the table. We create an environment we would invite our family to, which I have done. And let me tell you, every team member jumped on the opportunity to help. Legacy is a family – honoring each individual’s legacy while creating a legacy together.

Want to learn more about what Memory Care at Trilogy looks like? Visit our Legacy page located here!