Melissa (Shaw) Woosley has come full circle geographically from her first job as a Wanamingo High School teen working at the Cannon Falls Country Kitchen to new Director of Twin River Senior Campus.
With more than 20 years of experience in senior care, Woosley first discovered her talent with and love of seniors when she moved to California after earning degrees at Waldorf College in Forest City, IA and at Luther College in Decorah, IA.
Her passion for working with seniors started in long term care in California.
"I was 23 and my first job was at a nursing home as a social worker. I met my first 100-year-old and he spoke of getting to that age by living a life of moderation," she explained.
When she returned to Minnesota, Melissa worked for three years in St. Peter, and another 11 for Presbyterian Home, Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, and Stillwater.
"Working with seniors is diverse. Everyone brings with them varied life experiences, and my job is to help the staff do what the residents want to do, giving staff freedom to do that and not constraining them to a 'box,'" proferred Woosley. She added, "I like to break the stereotypes of aging as well, such as the concept that seniors should not exercise or seniors should not try to learn anything new."
She attributes the excellence of Twin Rivers to the "amazing team" she works with and would like to continue to implement new ideas for memory care programming for those who suffer from memory loss and their families.
Woosley and her husband recently moved to Hastings.