GLEN CARBON - LeadingAge Illinois honored Lutheran Senior Services’ Gayle Hantak with the 2022 Rising Star Award recently. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary performance through a strong work ethic, commitment, initiative, leadership and the ability to be a team player in their first 24 months on the job.

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As the Lifestyle Enrichment Coordinator for Memory Care at Meridian Village, a Lutheran Senior Services Life Plan Community, Hantak is dedicated to enriching the lives of residents living with dementia. She gets to know each person as an individual, focusing on their abilities and interests and encouraging them to be active in ways that are meaningful to them, from singing to gardening and more. For example, last Christmas she planned a special performance for Memory Care residents and their families by having residents learn to sign and sing a song. It was a meaningful experience for all involved.

She creates an environment of continuous learning and stimulation, supporting the Lutheran Senior Services’ mission of helping older adults live life to the fullest.

“When it comes to making our residents’ days more meaningful and keeping residents active, there is nothing she won’t try. Her enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. She makes every resident feel special,” said Colleen Bottens, Executive Director Meridian Village.

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