Assisted Living Monthly Service Fee Incentive
Lifestyle Director, Kristin Kullberg, posed in front of a wooded area smiling at the camera.

Curating a Vibrant Community: Meet Lifestyle Director Kristin Kullberg

Kristin is someone you’ll probably see a lot of if you live at Westerwood. She’s the enthusiastic coordinator of fun and fulfillment in her position as the lifestyle director. With a heart dedicated to enhancing the lives of all our residents, Kristin cultivates a way of living that fuses vitality and camaraderie. Her hard work and dedication have helped further Westerwood’s reputation as a place of laughter, exploration and meaningful connections.

We sat down with Kristin to get to her know her better. She’s worked here for over five years, starting as a personal trainer before earning her master’s in healthcare administration at The Ohio State University and being promoted to Lifestyle Director.

 

Westerwood Made an Impression

“My undergrad was in nutrition, so I started as a personal trainer at Westerwood, and that’s where I really started to love working with seniors,” Kristin says.

While she was working with residents in the gym, she had a career-changing epiphany. “I fell in love with the residents’ progress and their goals. They weren’t motivated by vanity. Their goals weren’t things like wanting six-pack abs. They were concerned with balance and being able to keep living the life they always had. That’s really what got me interested in working with this age group. And so, I decided to keep working in senior living. I went back to school and I got my master’s in healthcare administration, so I can keep doing that.”

 

What Exactly Does the Lifestyle Director Do?

At Westerwood, we take our culture of friendliness seriously. Our goal is to ensure residents have everything they need to thrive. Kristin’s in charge of the overall resident experience, which she loves doing, so it never feels like work.

“I help new residents get involved when they move in. I get to know them, find out what they like to do, and then help guide them toward whatever they want to get involved in,” Kristin says.

She also works closely with the Welcoming Committee and Wing Representatives to optimize the orientation process for new residents. “It’s about making sure that new residents have people to eat with and other ways to meet people. Between the Welcoming Committee and myself, we make sure new residents are introduced around. From there, it’s kind of up to them to get involved or not. And they know I’m here if they ever need anything,” Kristin says.

But welcoming someone to Westerwood is about more than lists and introductions. Kristin makes sure new residents feel supported on all levels. “A big thing is getting new people set up on a community app we use called Care Merge, which hosts the activities calendars and the dining menus. I show them where they can find those resources as well as place work orders if they need anything fixed in their apartments. It also helps them feel connected and involved in things. It’s sort of like having Westerwood at your fingertips.”

A lifestyle director also acts as a social worker, guiding residents through various logistical concerns. “I spend a lot of time discussing how our healthcare services work and what we offer. If a resident needs additional support, we help them get connected to the right resources,” Kristin says.

 

The Value of Community

Working at Westerwood has given Kristin an entirely new outlook on retirement living. Westerwood is a resident-led community, meaning the sky’s the limit on what residents can achieve together. When someone comes to Kristin with an idea for an activity or a club that doesn’t exist, she gets to help them make their dream a reality.

“If you’ve got an idea, I’ll help you promote it. We’ll work together. Figure out what day and time works for you, and then we’ll get it on our calendar and the community app and make sure people know about it. This year we added chair volleyball, then somebody wanted music in the courtyard and to have everybody come out and sing and dance, so we did it. And it’s been really popular. These were both brought to me by a new resident and now we’ve got about 30 people coming out for music in the courtyard. And some people who don’t usually come to things tell me they had a good time. This event reached different people, which is always what we’re trying to do.” Kristin said.

For Kristin, this sense of community changed her mind about what she had always thought retirement living was. She doesn’t think of communities like Westerwood as “nursing homes” because even the oldest residents still live confidently and independently.

“The sense of community that you get by moving here is huge. There are the benefits of not having to cook or mow your grass, but also just having people around you and having things to do every day have shown that not only will you live longer, but you’ll have better years during that longer life,” Kristin explained.

 

Big Wins for Westerwood!

Kristin is proud to have achieved nearly 99% resident participation in this year’s Holleran resident engagement survey. Residents overwhelmingly agreed that Westerwood goes above and beyond. The community was even given a 2023 Community Choice Award based on their feedback!

Kristin’s impact here is measurable. She loves the relationships she’s formed with residents and seeing how happy her contributions have made them.

The idea of home can mean different things to different people, but at Westerwood, we believe home is a feeling, and we strive to provide that to everyone who passes through our doors. Are you ready to discover a new definition of home? If so, call (614) 568-0503 and schedule your visit today.



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