Serving the needs of older adults has been a constant theme in my life since my high school days, when I began volunteering in a skilled nursing facility. I am a licensed social worker and certified personal care home administrator, with extensive leadership experience in the health care/social service sectors. Whether as a Senior Vice President of a health system, or in a more operational leadership role in a community for seniors, my goal remains to empower older adults to live the senior phase of their lives with purpose, dignity and fulfillment. I seek to integrate the professional experience I have had, both in direct service or in leadership positions in order to develop programs and services to enable older adults to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
I have a Master’s degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and a Master’s degree in Psychology from The Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. My interests include music: piano, guitar and singing, participating in a folk ensemble; caring for my two dogs; reading; walking and swimming; home designing; and, learning languages (I speak German and Italian, and have begun to learn Spanish). I enjoy spending time with my husband, as well as other friends and family members.
Oaks of Bensalem is a unique community, staffed by people who are authentic, compassionate and deeply committed to serving each person encountered. I am very happy to serve in leadership at Allegria at Oaks, as together we create new possibilities by transforming the experience of senior living!
Hello, my name is Jerry M. Karpoleh, Culinary Services Director. I’m a graduate of the Star Career Academy school of Commercial Cooking. and have been working in the food industry since 2000. My first employment opportunity was at McDonald’s and then at various restaurants learning new skills and cooking techniques as my responsibilities expanded. Some might say I stayed in the food industry all these years because it was my first job, this may be partly true, but over time I truly began to love the art of cooking and the incorporation of different methods and ingredients to produce appealing and flavorful dishes. I started cooking in the Assisted Living community in 2006, and it renewed my interest in the culinary field. Cooking for the elderly presents a new set of challenges– if you’re not learning new techniques or innovating, then you’re not moving forward. I quickly learned that elderly residents often have different dietary needs, not just your typical “short order” menu selections. Like everything in life, with a little time and commitment, I mastered a new style of cooking. One of the most challenging parts of my job is working with residents to determine the kind of food they enjoy, and then replicating some favorite family recipes (while observing dietary restrictions). Our Culinary Team is always thrilled to get the residents’ stamp of approval at the end of a meal we’ve created especially for them. It encourages us to keep finding just the right ingredients to make our residents smile. Bon Appetite!
“It takes a village”, this phrase fully applies to Allegria at Oaks. We are truly a team who not only take care of the residents, but each other. It has always been true in my own life as well. As an only child in Northeast Philadelphia, my paternal grandparents lived with us. They helped to raise me as both of my parents worked outside the home. When it came time to give back to them, we did not hesitate and became a family of caregivers. Both of my grandparents lived with us until their passing. I married, had a child, and returned to live in my childhood home, this time to help help my mother as she cared for my father who was diagnosed with cancer. We remained as my mother then needed the attention and care. It has been second nature to me to give not only to my family, but to the neighborhood, church, and anyone in need. The “Oaks” and this community make me feel rewarded and fulfilled at the end of each work day.
I have been working in a healthcare and educational communities for 20 years, both on the East Coast and in Ireland. Most of my work has been in a caring capacity in homes for the elderly, schools, special needs day centers and children’s homes. It has always been in my nature to promote an atmosphere of community with caring and skilled professionals and high standards. As a young girl, I was extremely close to my grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. I recall visiting her in a care facility and noticing how attentive the staff were to both her and my family. This experience remains with me and I have a deep appreciation for the importance of senior care, especially when it comes to memory care. I use the tools that I learned as a preschool teacher, coupled with Dementia training, to implement a program that is person centered and involves getting to know the whole person and engaging them. This is why I enjoy working at Allegria at Oaks, it makes my job much more satisfying, because I believe so strongly in our community and the way each resident is treated with dignity and respect.
My name is Patrick Jajua, Resident Services Director for Personal Care; I am a Licensed Practical Nurse. I began working with residents with intellectual disabilites where I advocated on behalf of their needs. I eventually focused my career in the field of skilled nursing facilities and home care, for a many years, because I feel fulfilled in helping people maintain their best quality of life. I believe in creating and building a trusting relationship between my residents and their families. I look forward to meeting you when you visit our community or ultimately choose to call the “Oaks” home.