Activities Director Honored . . .

P1010030A smattering of Christmas decorations still hang in Valley View Retirement Community, but Lori Motley is already busy planning for Valentine’s Day.

Holidays provide her a perfectly good reason to host a party or social event for Valley View residents.  As she plans decorations, Motley, Valley View’s activity coordinator, ticks off the names of all of Valley View’s couples.  She even recalls small details from their wedding photos.  After almost 10 years, she can tell their stories as if they were her own.

“I feel like I am coming to my second home when I come to work each day” said Motley.  She looks forward to work, where she gets to entertain and socialize with hundreds of seniors on a daily basis.  “We have so much fun together.”

Motley’s days are spent hosting and planning the kind of activities she hopes motivate residents to get out and about.  From exercise classes and knitting groups to Super Bowl parties and poker, Motley will do what it takes to put a smile on residents’ faces.  She’s called on frequently for  a manicure and knows how to turn a game room into a mini salon abuzz with gossip.

“Activity is not just about playing, it’s about being together and enjoying each other,” said Motley.  To that end, she has welcomed residents into her world as well.  They know to make sure she’s had her morning coffee and look forward to rehashing her beloved Redskins’ last game. “Within my third year here, I realized that this is where I needed to be,” said Motley.  “They bring me so much joy.”

At Valley View, which offers independent and assisted living, Lori does everything from drive the bus for group activities and banking with residents to shooting pool and taking them to medical appointments.  She knows who has family to visit and who does not.

“She just doesn’t work there, her heart is there,” said Scott Maxey, of Home Instead Senior Care.  Maxey was so impressed with the care that Lori provides, he nominated her for special recognition this pst summer.

While the activities she plans are fun and provide fellowship, Maxey said there is more.  “When one of them is in need Lori always makes the time to talk to them.  It may be just to lend an ear or to help with a personal problem one of the residents may be dealing with.  Even if Lori is having a very hectic day she somehow manages to find the time to do ‘extra’ things,” said Maxey.

Motley was presented with a “Making It Personal” award in August.  Home instead gives the recognition to individuals who go beyond the call of duty in senior. care.

“These are things that she does that are out of the ordinary,” said Penny Henry, Valley View’s activities assistant.  She begins to list all that Motley does, like helping seniors fill out paperwork or read forms and taking them to appointments on unscheduled days.

“I’m doing it because I want to do it,” said Motley, brushing off the praise.

“I would hope that others would learn to appreciate this population.  They are such a joy to be around.”


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