Community connections grow at The Greens

“Things happen the way they’re supposed to” is the optimistic attitude Eileen Armstrong learned during her years as a geriatric social worker. It will be a real plus in her new job as community relations coordinator at The Greens at Cannondale.

“I’ll be out in the community representing The Greens, developing and strengthening our relationships with other providers in the area, connecting with the schools for our intergenerational activities, the library, the Y, senior center, and the business world,” she said. “Interaction with The Greens will be mutually beneficial in building a more involved and compassionate community.”

For 12 years, Ms. Armstrong was the director of social services and discharge planner at Connecticut Health in Southport, a skilled nursing facility.

“I helped families with the whole spectrum of issues: finances, medical needs, living requirements and location, transportation — all the elements of care. Often families feel they have lost control. I help them navigate the system.”

She said, quite frankly, that she thinks her naturally friendly, caring personality is a good match for being with and representing older adults. ”One of my goals is to increase the self-esteem of residents and staff members,” she said.

Ms. Armstrong has worked with several assisted living facilities in Connecticut and she said, “The Greens is a very special place. It’s beautiful and genuinely welcoming. The fact that it’s located on a Lifetime Campus of Care is a plus for residents and their families.

“When I was a teenager, my mother said I should work in geriatrics,” she continued. “That’s kind of unusual, but she was right. My desire to be with older adults started in childhood and I’m really happy to be here to reach out to the community and make connections that will benefit our residents and the surrounding area.

“One  thing I’ll never forget is when I visited the nursing home I had worked at for 12 years,” she said. “When the residents saw me in the dining room, there was a ‘clink, clink’ of welcome and excitement. Everyone dropped their silverware and stopped eating because I was there to see them on Christmas Day. The residents had become my family. And that’s what I hope happens here.”

Ms. Armstrong is proud of being part of  “a full Irish-American do-good family.” She studied in the human services department at Norwalk Community College and majored in social work at Southern Connecticut State University, with a focus on geriatrics.

“As a discharge planner, I learned every aspect of senior services. I also learned that community providers don’t want to be sold anything. They want to connect with agencies they respect. Representing The Greens gives me the advantage of The Greens’ extraordinary reputation.”