Team Member Highlight: Gillian Asphar
“I know not what the future holds, but who holds the future.” – Homer
Gillian’s Favorite Quote
Gillian Asphar came to The Kensington as a volunteer for our Assisted Living Neighborhood in September 2017. Within just a few short months, Gillian joined The Kensington team as a salaried team member and was sitting at the concierge desk with her soothing voice and comforting accent. We all love Gillian with her natural caring way, and the light she shines all over The Kensington. Before we knew it, Gillian was recruited to be a full-time team member in activities for our Memory Care neighborhoods.
While Gillian has worn many hats in her life, including making chum on a fishing boat in Port Judith Rhode Island, working at The Kensington is where Gillian says she found home. When I asked her if she would ever want to switch her job with anyone else here, Gillian said, “No! I would never switch my job with anyone at The K. My job is my heart and my heart is my job. I love working with the residents so closely, we have so much fun!”
As per Gillian, she enjoys working at The Kensington because of the great staff and beautiful surroundings, but her love and main reason for coming to work are the residents. “Making the residents happy is what makes me happy.” The best advice she has for new team members coming to work at The Kensington is to “look, listen and learn”.
What about Gillian outside of the work environment you ask? She was born on the Mediterranean island of Malta into a very large family who has scattered around the world and reside in of course Malta, but also, England, Australia, France and America. In case you were wondering, according to Google, Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast.
While Gillian has some learning challenges, she has developed the skill to overcome these challenges every single day. She uses this skill when working with our Kensington residents. If Gillian had the chance to do anything else for one day, she would naturally choose to be a healer. It’s no wonder since she heals our residents by putting a smile on their face and warming their hearts!
Gillian would love it if pasta had no calories. How wonderful would that be! Gillian describes herself as passionate, thin-skinned and a bit of a loner who loves Swiss chocolate, too. Her family and loved ones are very important to her. If she ever wins the lotto, she would pay off her sister’s mortgage and her nephew’s student loans. What makes her happy? She said, “Good question, had to think about this one. When a program on Haven works well, I am euphoric. And when taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon, Ahh!” Gillian loves music, but don’t ask her about her playlist on her iPhone- she’ll just look at you like you have three heads and say, “MY VINYL collection is extremely eclectic, and my radio is tuned to Latino music and public stations”.
Gillian is not only a member of AIM (Alzheimer’s Impact Movement), but she is a strong advocate for the rights of those who have cognitive impairment. She has been a voice on Capitol Hill and Albany. She also loves gardening, animals and working with the Humane Society. If Gillian was not working at The Kensington, she would love to have a rescue and retirement farm for animals of all sorts. She would not turn away a person who needed some rescuing as well.
Thank you, Gillian, for bringing love and light to The Kensington.