“I wanted to make a difference.”
Sharon Robinson, Executive Director at Spring Gardens Lindon, is certainly making a difference. Sharon makes a difference in the life of everyone she comes in contact with. She befriends every resident, helping them feel welcome. She leads her team with kindness and respect. She understands and communicates with families. This warmth and welcoming is a big reason why Spring Gardens feels like home. Sharon recently returned to Spring Gardens Lindon after a brief hiatus last year, and we are so glad to have her back.
A mother of five and grandmother to 16 grandkids, Sharon loves to be busy. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her grandkids, and fishing. And she says she’s found her calling in life serving seniors. As a little girl, she helped her mother take care of her grandmother. They shared a bedroom, and Sharon’s grandmother taught her to crochet. But despite the impact of this early experience, she didn’t take a direct path to elderly care. Prior to working in assisted living, Sharon worked for 12 years as a marketing coordinator for a successful orthodontic practice.
It wasn’t until after her in-laws both had strokes that she became a full-time caretaker. She took care of them for nearly 5 years in her home. After her parents became ill, she made the decision to have them placed in an assisted living community. After they passed, she started to use her marketing skills for an assisted living community and realized she loved working with seniors every day. She drove an hour to work and then transferred when they opened a building in Spanish Fork. She received her administration license in 2014 and came to the Lindon location in 2017. When she came, there were only 11 people there. She helped fill it up — to 106 residents, including 23 couples. She retired in May 2020 to help care for her family. We were fortunate to have her willing to come out of retirement to help at Spring Gardens Mapleton in November. When an opening became available at Spring Gardens Lindon again, she was excited to return. “I missed my group and my team,” she says, “so I came back.”
Sharon credits her team with much of the success at Spring Gardens Lindon. “My whole team is amazing,” she says. Each one understands Sharon’s philosophy of one-on-one care. “It’s about making every person feel loved,” says Sharon. “The residents and staff are what makes it amazing here.” Spring Gardens feels like home – and it’s filled with family. Sharon says couples, friends, siblings, neighbors all decide to come to stay together in her community. The result? A warm, welcoming community where you’re sure to make friends.
If a new resident feels nervous, Sharon and her team go above and beyond to help them feel comfortable. One resident refused to leave her room for mealtimes. Sharon visited with the resident and learned the woman felt self-conscious about her hair. So Sharon helped her with her hair, accompanied her to the dining room, and introduced her to a table of residents. When Sharon came back from getting a drink of water, the woman was comfortably settled in with her new friends, enjoying dinner.
Speaking of meals, if you really want to know what life is like here, Sharon says you need to stop by at mealtime. Residents at Spring Gardens can enjoy a meal any time; the dining room is open from 7:30am to 6:00pm. Residents can stop by and order anything they like, just like a restaurant. The residents love the flexibility, but they still love to gather around mealtimes. You’ll catch tables of residents happily chatting and enjoying their meal together. After dinner, you can visit by the fire with a group of residents who are so comfortable a few of them have even kicked off their shoes. “It makes me so happy that this truly feels like home,” observes Sharon.
For those who are considering assisted living for their loved one, Sharon says she understands. “It is scary, but honestly they will be so happy.” She speaks from experience. When her parents became sick and she had to place them in care, it was really hard. But she says it was the right thing for both of them. “They were happy and independent, and I could see the difference. I was the daughter again, instead of the caretaker. I got my mother-daughter relationship back.”
Sharon knows every resident, and that certainly helps the family feel of Spring Gardens. When someone comes in for a visit, she finds out a little bit about them and introduces them to a current resident with similar interests. For Sharon, it’s all about helping people build connections and find friends. “Once they know they’re safe and there’s someone there for them, they know it’s going to be okay. Everyone needs to know they’re loved.”
At Spring Gardens, Sharon continues to help her team, residents, and their families feel loved. She epitomizes kindness and love. She is making a difference every day in the lives of others, and we are so grateful to have her as executive director at Spring Gardens Lindon. She says with a laugh, “I love coming to work each day! I don’t feel like it’s a job.”
To learn more about Spring Gardens Lindon, visit their website.