Sally Gelpke has been a nurse for over 28 years, spending 15 of those years at Stein Assisted Living. Sally’s passion for providing care to our residents shines in everything she does. This month, we are highlighting Sally for her contributions to not only the health, but the quality of life of our community here on the Wilf Campus and in the Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood at Stein Assisted Living.
Sally began her time at Stein Assisted Living working as a staff nurse, eventually moving on to become the Director of Dementia Services in Jaffa Gate. Jaffa Gate offers specialized care and support for seniors with memory impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Sally truly enjoyed providing care to the residents at Jaffa Gate. So much so that, despite being promoted to Director of Nursing of Stein Assisted Living, she eventually went back to her role at Jaffa Gate. “Although I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be Director of Nursing, I really missed that hands-on connection with the residents—being able to interact with and care for them one-on-one throughout the day,” Sally explains.
The passion that Sally has for improving the lives of our memory impaired residents shows not only through her nursing skills, but through her creativity! Sally came up with the idea of our relaxation room, which provides a calming environment for residents who may feel confused or uncomfortable — or simply need a place to relax. Aromatherapy, peaceful music and professional massages are all perks of the relaxation room. The residents truly enjoy this room and that’s just one of Sally’s great concepts.
Sally loves to plan bigger events for the residents about once a year. A few years ago, she planned a fashion show and this year, Stein Assisted Living had a 50s party that was unforgettable. “We had a good time preparing for the 50s party. We practiced dance routines with the residents about twice a week for two months. It was really exciting for them. They would always ask, ‘Is there practice today?’ and they loved seeing each other dressed up and having a good time,” Sally recalls. From outfits, to instruments, it was evident how much Sally enjoyed putting the party together.
Outside of her life at Stein Assisted Living, Sally has two children in their 20s — a daughter in nursing school and a son in the United States Marine Corps. She and her husband enjoy antiquing and playing tennis in their spare time.
The community here at the Wilf Campus truly appreciates Sally and her dedication to our residents. We can’t wait to see what more is in store.
Sally can be reached at SGelpke@wilfcampus.org.