An integral aspect of APAH’s resident services model includes building relationships with residents to identify needs and opportunities for programming, and supporting households when obstacles arise. At Loudoun View Senior Residences, there are two dedicated resident services staff who work to support the residents who call the property home.
We sat down with Kelley and Quinten, APAH’s Loudoun View Senior staff, to discuss senior needs, current programming, and their hopes for the future.
What is your name and title? When was your first day APAH?
Kelley: Kelley Vallecillo, Resident Services Coordinator. March 28, 2022.
Quinten: Quinten Eason, Resident Services Assistant. November 7, 2022.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background.
Kelley: Over the past ten years, I have worked with youth in group homes, juvenile hall, and substance abuse counseling. In 2019, while I was completing a certificate for drug counseling, I realized that someday I wanted to work with seniors. I have worked in resident services at affordable housing developers in northern Virginia since 2020.
Quinten: I worked for Arlington County for fourteen years in logistics, aging, and disability services, alongside the Department of Human Services and Family Services. I also worked as a home aid before coming aboard with APAH.
What obstacles do seniors face?
Kelley: Technology has been a consistent obstacle. These days, almost every service requires an online account and password; one example is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistances Program (SNAP). Seniors can have difficulty accessing and navigating these important websites. Resetting a password can become a time-consuming task. If you can’t access the portal, you can’t apply for support. Residents tell me, “if I don’t have the means, like a laptop, internet, or login, to apply to a program or service, I just stop trying.” We show residents that we are here to help.
Quinten: Most of the households at Loudoun View are single-person households and can easily fall into isolation. Most seniors don’t have family in the area. They rely on us to help them make doctors’ appointments and read emails or mail they don’t understand. Using cell phones, tablets, and computers can also be challenging for them. Most of the time, seniors need someone to listen and understand them. We work to prevent isolation among our residents. On Valentine’s Day this month, we transformed the community room at Loudoun View into “K & Q’s Diner,” where over 50 residents enjoyed a hot buffet together!
What current programs are you most excited about at Loudoun View Senior?
Kelley: Many residents have expressed their goals around health and fitness. Beginning in February, I am excited to offer chair yoga two times per month, every month. We also have a mobile market that visits the property twice per month in partnership with Loudoun Hunger Relief. In 2023, when there was a national egg shortage, APAH purchased eggs from Costco to supplement this item. There is also an onsite dentist providing free exams and we covered membership dues for the local senior center. And, a bus transports residents to and from the senior center, eliminating the barrier of transportation, which is crucial. When problems arise, we adapt and overcome.
Quinten: Wow, where do I begin! Loudoun Hunger Relief’s mobile market, the partnership with Goodwin Fitness, and APAH’s onsite household pantry would be my top three. We provide healthy food choices for seniors which they can access from the comfort of their homes. The onsite distributions are key as some of our residents cannot make a trip to the store on their own. Goodwin Fitness visits bi-weekly and helps our seniors do light exercise and stretching; most take these exercises home and do them daily. We build relationships with our residents so when needs are self-identified by residents, we create and tailor specific solutions to address those needs.
Tell us about a moment or story at Loudoun View Senior that stands out to you.
Kelley: One resident was self-conscious about her smile due to her dental situation. She had come from a shelter. We referred her to a dentist that was able to provide a full set of dentures (for FREE!). The resident’s self-esteem has improved immensely, and she is no longer afraid to show the world her big and bright smile.
Quinten: We had a resident who moved in after losing everything. We found a bed, living room furniture, dishes, and clothes for them. Doing this made them so happy. It was truly a heartwarming story.
Are there any plans for future programming that you can share?
Kelley: I’m excited to bring a variety of Lunch & Learn programming to Loudoun View, which will consist of nutritious meals, socialization with neighbors, and an opportunity to learn about available services. Potential topics include hearing screenings, telephone scam prevention, exercises to improve memory, home care aides, and more. Guest speakers will include a representative from the sheriff’s office and Goodwin Living. We are always excited about the prospect of new partnerships. Inquiries can be emailed to me:
Quinten: We are about to launch our chair yoga program, a cooking class on healthy eating and living, and courses to learn English and Farsi.
What are your hopes as you build community at Loudoun View Senior?
Kelley: I hope to provide comfort and safety for our residents and for family members who worry about their loved ones being on their own. We have 98 households, but it is kind of like 120 residents if you include residents’ family members. We will strive to provide experiences residents may not otherwise have – such as field trips for those who no longer drive.
Quinten: I hope our seniors find their forever home and an extensive support system, between APAH staff, partners, and their neighbors. We want to ensure that all their needs are met, and that they are happy.
Outside of work, what is one thing on your bucket list?
Kelley: My goal is to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. I have visited 20 so far! My favorites are San Francisco, San Diego, and Pittsburgh.
Quinten: I have traveled the world extensively but it is on my bucket list to visit Africa one day. I would love to go on a safari and eat local food.