Dearborn, Mich., February 15, 2018 – When your boss jokingly says, “You can’t retire until I retire,” it usually means you’re doing something right.
Delfina Mauricio, director of resident services for Oakwood Common for 24 years, echoes that sentiment about Shavon Baker, activities supervisor, who has worked at Beaumont’s senior living community in Dearborn for 18 years.
“I’m fortunate to have a great team, and we always receive top marks from residents,” said Mauricio. “Shavon is someone who can turn a negative into a positive or help someone who is having a tough day feel better. It’s her spirit.”
Baker is responsible for planning resident daily activities and events, both on campus and excursions around the metro Detroit area, as well as southeast Michigan. She is always looking for new and entertaining ideas and encourages requests from residents during Activities Committee meetings that are held monthly.
“Shavon does it all,” said Beth Rager, activities committee chair. “Although we offer suggestions at our meetings, people feel very comfortable talking with her directly. She takes advantage of every opportunity to plan activities she feels we’d enjoy, and we do.”
In recognition of Black History month in February, Baker led an outing to the Historic First Congregational Church of Detroit to tour the Underground Railroad Living Museum. The visit was followed by lunch at the Beans & Cornbread Restaurant in Southfield.
“Our outing reminded me of a visit to the Charles H. Wright Museum and what the slaves had to go through,” said resident Ronald Mills, a Ford retiree who moved to Oakwood Common from Taylor two years ago. “It was very eye opening.”
Mills added, “Shavon always comes up with a magic formula. Even my family and friends who visit are very impressed with her.” Resident Jean Hunt recalls how Baker helped her when she moved to Oakwood Common seven years ago.
“She did everything to make me feel comfortable after being widowed and moving from my home in Detroit,” said Hunt, who added that she enjoys the brain health activities Baker schedules, along with the educational outings and visits to different restaurants.
Mauricio shared that Baker recently became a minister at Greater New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, a historic church in Detroit.
“Shavon leads a devotional message for residents once a month that people really enjoy,” said Mauricio, who estimated 25 to 30 residents attend. “She brings another dimension of her spirit that helps her do such a good job.”
In addition to planning Black History month activities, Mauricio and Baker worked with Oakwood Common’s dining services to include a “soul food” theme with a dinner selection of dishes reminiscent of southern cuisine.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, they planned a romantic dinner for couples that included a choice of prime rib or surf and turf, along with champagne and a heart shaped cake for two.
To add a special touch, Baker used her Detroit connections to recruit a former member of the Platters, a highly successful vocal group in the 1950s, to entertain the couples at dinner.
Rager summed up residents’ feelings about Baker, “Shavon is all heart in everything she does. You can see it in people’s smiles after each event.”
Oakwood Common, a Beaumont community, offers one and two bedroom senior living apartments located at 16351 Rotunda Drive, within a beautiful 29-acre community. It includes exquisite landscaping, nature trails and scenic views along the historic Rouge River Gateway in Dearborn. Assisted living and a comprehensive rehabilitation and skilled nursing center are also available for those with additional needs. For more information and to arrange tours of Oakwood Common, call 800-642-4663.
Margaret Blohm, APR
Partner, Studio 313 LLC
Margaux & Associates, LLC