Every month, we invite one of our team members to sit down with us and tell us more about their journey to Elder Care Alliance, their role now, and their insights into older adult care. We are excited to share the expertise and knowledge of our many team members who every day come to work and help our residents live their best lives with us.
Today we welcome Joe Karpanty, AlmaVia of San Francisco Life Enrichment Director.
Us: Hi, Joe! Tell us about your background and role at Elder Care Alliance.
Joe: I was born and raised in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York. I hail from a family of one younger brother, Steven, and one younger sister, Karen. Throughout high school, I was an academic dean’s list student. I was also a two-sport all-state athlete in cross-country track and a baseball pitcher.
After high school, I joined the U.S. Navy serving during the Cold War aboard the USS Carl Vinson—a nuclear aircraft carrier. My occupation was as an aviation boatswain mate achieving the rank of 34th class petty officer. During my service aboard the Carl Vinson, I experienced many tense and dangerous interactions with the Soviet Union Navy.
On June 28, 1985—at the age of 20—I met my soulmate Lisa (who would become my wife). We have been happily married for 28 years and have the best son in the world, Joshua, who is 15 years old.
I am a 2001 cum laude San Jose State University graduate, proudly achieving my bachelor’s degree in recreation and leisure studies management. I have been an activity director for over 20 years.
Us: How does your work benefit residents at Elder Care Alliance communities?
Joe: By using our activity vehicle of conducting a wide variety of diverse, challenging, fun and interactive activities and programs, myself, our activity coordinators, and our passionate management team achieves success. The unyielding passion and love for what we do allow us to positively impact our residents’ lives, thereby improving the quality of their lives.
I have a great passion and unyielding love for my profession. I feel honored, lucky and blessed to work with the greatest generation in human history—our golden older adults.
Us: Tell us more about a specific feature of your job or duties and what residents can expect to gain from that.
Joe: The most crucial feature of my job that benefits our residents is conducting an activities planning meeting with them on the first and last Tuesdays of each month. Doing this allows me to share what programs, events and outings are coming up in the current month.
I also conduct a meeting on the last Tuesday of each month to obtain feedback from the residents regarding what programs they liked and did not like and ideas of what new and different programs and events they would like to see. In addition, my team of activity coordinators and I discuss and share daily about new and different programs and events we can do.
Us: What is a favorite memory or experience working at Elder Care Alliance?
Joe: One of my favorite daily memories is seeing residents’ happy faces when they are participating in programs. It makes me realize the profound and positive effects that the Life Enrichment Department has on their quality of life on a daily basis. In addition, the activities team, colleagues and managers, and all of my team members have the same passion and love for what we do. This also positively affects all of our residents’ daily lives.
Us: What is the greatest reward that your role at Elder Care Alliance brings?
Joe: The greatest reward my role brings is seeing and feeling the residents’ joy; seeing the look on their faces of satisfaction, happiness, contentment, acceptance, and realizing they are important; that they have a purpose, a voice, and an innumerable amount of things to offer to the world.
Us: Share any insights into programs, menus, etc. that you have implemented, as well as any new programs that you are planning for the future.
Joe: I have been with AlmaVia of San Francisco for one year. In that time, my activity coordinators and I have implemented many programs, such as aromatherapy, current events, a variety of intergenerational programs, San Francisco SPCA pet therapy visits, play readings, celebrating different cultures/countries monthly through a variety of programs, varieties of entertainment, restaurant outings, live theater performances, scenic drives, residents ambassadors club, guest speaker discussing fall prevention (to name a few).
New programs: weekly cooking classes, weekly current events discussions, weekly wellness discussions, charades, “What’s in a Word?” game, Jenga, Wheel of Fortune, Resident and staff slide shows, Green Thumb Gardening Club, and much more.
New Upcoming Events:
- Oktoberfest Party: with German food and beer, lederhosen, Om Pah Pah Bavarian/German band, decorations
- Hawaiian Luau party: with dancers, Hawaiian cuisine and island drinks, music, and decorations
- Cruise-themed party
- Casino night
- Afternoon tea social