Goodman Community Center | #BeTheGoodMSN: Gayle is Dedicated to Our…

#BeTheGoodMSN: Gayle is Dedicated to Our Senior Community

Since the first day Gayle Laszewski managed our older adult program, she has had their backs.

April 26, 2022 |
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Older Adult Program Manager Gayle Laszewski smiles a senior participant.
Gayle Laszewski has been working in the Goodman Older Adult Program for 9 years. She treats each one of our seniors like they're family, and that's why they love her.

Since the first day Gayle Laszewski managed our older adult program, she has had their backs.

“At Goodman, our seniors aren’t defined by their age, they are ‘Patty’ or ‘Mel’ — a whole person with a name, a lifetime of experience and gifts to offer,” she said.

Gayle has helped me see how our biases often create an unfair assumption about older adults — that they don’t have much to offer. Gayle knows better. She digs in to find their gifts and help them shine. Being a social worker isn’t in her job description, but that is what she does. Because that’s who she is. That’s how much she cares.

So, on top of managing meals and offering a plethora of activities to nurture our elders’ physical and emotional well-being, she will go above and beyond if she discovers a participant who needs an advocate. Or an infusion of added support.

Like Harvey. Turns out he was living in his van with eight cats and two dogs, and as you might imagine, it wasn’t healthy for any of them.

Gayle spent four years getting to know Harvey. As she listened, she learned those pets were his family. He was feeding them before himself. So it took a while before he trusted Gayle to find new homes for some of his animals — along with some veterinary care. But he did as it became apparent no landlord would rent to a man with a menagerie like his. And he was realizing he needed — and deserved — a safer place to live.

He’s been in his new apartment for three years now and still comes to Goodman for lunch. Then goes home to his family — Gizmo, Champ and Skip.

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