Our February spotlight is someone very special to The Kensington, Jennifer Blair or “Jen” as she is known at The Kensington. Jen joined The Kensington team in November of 2014 as a Memory Care Dining Services server. In her position, Jen tends to the dining needs of the cognitively challenged residents. She knows each and every resident’s diet, preferences and special needs. She is the life behind The Kensington Promise as she truly treats each resident as if they were her own family member.
Jennifer told me she would not switch her position with anyone. It’s clear she loves her position and states it’s because she gets to really know the residents and can engage with them and their families on a regular basis. She adds, “I like how we are all one big family on Connections”, which is our Memory Care neighborhood for those with early to moderate cognitive impairment.
Jennifer has one sister who has five children – three girls, and two boys. They are the light of Jennifer’s life; she states that she “loves them more than anything”. When Jennifer is not at work, she enjoys spending time with those nieces and nephews, setting up a bonfire and sitting around it with her family and friends. She also has three cats and one a dog who Jennifer jokingly says, “My mom treats my pets better than me lol”. Jennifer has a very strong bond with her family so it’s clear that if she was to ever to win the lottery she would buy a house for herself, her mother and one for her sister all next to each other so they can make one big back yard for the kids to play in. We discussed childhood memories, Jen said how she used to love going to the Discovery Zone with her mom and sister every weekend. She recalled her mom having to work two jobs but always seemed to make time to have fun with Jennifer and her sister. And who is Jennifer’s hero? Her mom of course.
Some tidbits about Jen-
- If she was an animal, she would like to be a cat. Her reason: “All they do is sleep and eat. I mean I do that anyway but it’s acceptable when you are a cat”. I asked Jen who she would like to be for one day if she could be anyone or anything. Jennifer said she would like to be Curry, The Kensington ball of fur. (I can’t say I blame her as this Kensington cat is spoiled daily!) No doubt here, Jennifer loves animals.
- If it came down to it, she would be quite content to eat only Cocoa Pebbles cereal for the rest of her life.
- Prior to working at The Kensington, Jennifer worked the registry at Babies R Us.
- She says people tend to think she looks like Tony Little, fitness personality.
- Jennifer cannot resist coffee and absolutely cannot live without TV.
- She is deathly afraid of being in a closed space with a spider or mouse.
- The one food Jen wishes had no calories would be Eggplant Rollatini.
- Jennifer believes everyone should go on a cruise at least once in their lives. Jen states, “it’s such a great experience and there is a ton of food!”
- Jennifer has a very strong connection to her faith; she finds church lifts her spirits and gives her inspiration.
- If money was no object Jennifer would travel to as many countries as she can and if she could, she would want to be a race car driver.
Jennifer describes herself as funny, loud and fluffy. When this writer asked her how she thinks others would describe her she said, ‘kind, caring and extremely funny’. If you know Jen, you know that’s true.
Jennifer loves music from the fifties and sixties. In fact, if she could go back in time, she would go to the fifties, as she also loves cars from that era.
Jennifer told this writer if she wasn’t doing this, she might like to be a comedian. I can see this happening. She is very quick-witted and has a great sense of humor.
Jennifer’s advice to any new Kensington staff would be to simply to “treat the residents like you would your own grandparents”. She is a glass half full person because as she put it “life is good!”
Thank you, Jennifer, for the compassion, humor, and dedication you bring to The Kensington and its residents every day.