Recreation Coordinator Is Practically Family

diane james

Some of us just know our calling. Diane knew and proclaimed even at the young age of 20, that one day she would work with seniors.

As The Waterford’s Recreation Assistant since 2009, Diane brightens the lives of residents with her upbeat can-do personality and boundless energy. Not to mention her warm, genuine smile that lights up any room.

“They are all like family to me,” Diane says affectionately, explaining it provides her with great satisfaction to be able to interact with residents.

“I love to give them special attention – share a joke, make them laugh, have light conversation… and when someone makes a request no matter how big or small, I do my best to accommodate. After all, this is where they live and I want them to feel that someone is looking out for their best interest.”

A sort of jack-of-all-trades, Diane coordinates and runs much of the recreational program. She carries a Class 4 driver’s license to drive the BRIA bus on group excursions, is a personal trainer and has her Osteofit designation. Diane brings in entertainers, teaches fitness classes, creates personalized gym routines and leads group activities at The Waterford.

And if she’s not teaching or organizing, she’s decorating for the next big event. “I love being creative with my events. I can run with my ideas and make them happen.” Diane says. The residents benefit from her efforts with fully-themed excursions or parties that make them feel special and celebrated.

One of her most memorable events was when The Waterford celebrated New Year’s Eve ‘Hollywood style.’  Diane pulled out all the stops, glitzing up the lobby with a red carpet to stroll and taking paparazzi-like photographs of the residents. Everyone present felt like a star for the evening and they even dressed the part in their fanciest attire.

At Halloween, Diane led a themed excursion which included a nighttime visit to the cemetery, police station and city morgue.

From the events she orchestrates, to the smallest of gestures, a smile or conversation shared, Diane engages fully with residents, so they know they will always have a friend. A sister. A mother. Or a daughter. It’s a family thing.