Meet Our Team
I have been blessed throughout my career to have had amazing mentors and collaborators. After spending countless years chasing the golden ring, I was humbled and awoken to the realities that face our most underserved populations while becoming more involved in the community. I found myself utilizing my experience in a whole new direction. Engaging daily with traumatic brain injury victims and intellectually/ physically disabled clients renewed my strength and faith to become a better advocate and educate those around me about the struggles they face daily.
I was approached by Afton Community Day to develop a culture for this new venture, I was taken back by the owners’ stories and the vision. This was exactly the facility my husband and I needed while caring for his disabled sister, but sadly her story ended in skilled nursing. The daily worries and struggles of caregivers tend to go unnoticed and are more times than not are dismissed without regard for dignity or respect. As program director at Afton, I have an opportunity be the advocate to families that my husband and I needed, and provide services that engage, enhance, and extend a persons’ ability to stay in their home. My story is not an anomaly. My story is fuel for change.
Today we are all living longer and want to be a functioning part of our family, and community lives. With so many obstacles that can affect our mental health it is difficult for some to stay in their own homes and care for themselves or a loved one. When young and have needs you are considered the parents responsibility and there are no stigmas attached to that. As a parent ages and roils reverse, life changes for the entire family.
As a well-seasoned nurse, I started my career on a med/surg floor, where I cared for all age groups with many different illnesses. As a young nurse I was energetic and loved the fast pace, therefore; after gaining valuable experience as a floor nurse I went to work in the emergency room where we cared for individuals ages 16 and up. Life dynamics in these settings are very real and frightening for families. Not only medical care was needed but a great deal of emotional care was a big part also. Most of my career was as an ED nurse until I started feeling the aging process myself. I then became a director for a surgery center. Once again, I took on a different role in dealing with families and their illness/conditions.
Recently I was approached about an amazing venture that was to be built for the aging and was asked if l would join the team. Now that I am considered part of the aging population I sat back and viewed my years as a nurse and my experience and what could I bring to the table to make this venture successful. I went back ten years ago when my mom had a stroke and lost the entire side of vision and movement.
My mom was an extremely active lady and volunteered for many foundations. This diagnosis was devastating for her and my entire family. Our facility would have made a huge impact on my mom’s rehabilitation and emotional status. I knew then my purposes at Afton. As I age myself I want this center to be very successful so when I come here as a client I will be so proud of all the people that made a difference in so many families lives.
Hello, my name is Shaunee Richard and I’m the activity coordinator here at Afton Community Day.
As a little girl my grandmother was the strongest and the most influential person in my life. She raised nine kids and worked as a housekeeper, making five dollars a week. Despite being diagnosed with breast cancer she always had the best sense of humor. Her laugh was contagious, and she loved to dance even when she was feeling bad. I was very blessed to be able to spend time with her before she passed. I’ve always had a passion for the senior community, so I took some courses and worked my way from nursing homes into private home health. My clients always said that my smile and my sense of humor made them for a moment forget about their problems.
I’m here at Afton Community Day to bring that same smile and joy to the table. No matter the situation, I want Afton participants to enjoy coming here and to go home with a smile.