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A Memory Care Director Finds Her True Calling

Sameka Green has just the right touch of compassion and energy to work with a segment of the population who are ‘slowly’ losing their mental and cognitive capabilities.

As the Memory Care Director at The Grove at Canopy, Tallahassee’s newest upscale senior living community, Green is attentive and has a warm personality. She also has a remarkable attention to detail, knowing one of her main objectives is to find activities that bring joy to the 12 plus residents she works hands-on with every day. She takes into consideration that they are impacted by the degenerative progression of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

“I make sure each resident receives the best care possible based upon their individual level of care needs,” said the 36-year-old Green, who has worked with senior citizens for 19 years now. “To see them smiling is very rewarding for me.” Every community member responds well to different activities. They all have different levels of cognitive ability.

To most, it would be a challenge to take on such an important job. Green is trusted by family members to take the best care possible of their parent. She’s turned this sometimes emotionally-draining endeavor into something that is her life’s passion.

Since coming to work at The Grove at Canopy in 2019, Green has brought each of the men and women she works with into the fabric of what makes this a premier senior-living community.

And each day Green makes the 25-minute drive from her home in Quincy, she’s filled with joy knowing she can bring happiness in their lives.

“When I come to work, I’m at home,” Green said. “We’re one big family.

“When I go home, I know I’ve done everything I can to take care of our residents. We made them smile, made them happy.”

Green has such a reputation for being a wonderful caregiver that she said nine residents from places she previously worked have come over to The Grove at Canopy in the short time since its doors opened late in 2019.

Upon accepting the job, Green looked at a list of some of the future residents. She burst with joy when she saw the name Sharron Buck, who was previously under her care at another community. Since first meeting in 2017, Green was thrilled to get the chance to care for someone who “loves people and has a sweet spirit.”

Buck has a wonderful advocate in her husband, Bill, who stayed in close contact with Green to know about the day’s agenda and activities.

“He’s here at almost the same time every day,” Green said.

Green’s introduction into the field of senior care was one of life circumstances. She was raised around grandparents and local elderly members of her community who struggled to do minor tasks we take for granted.

At a young age, she was also thrust into the role of caretaker of her mother, Cynthia, who developed cirrhosis of the liver and dementia caused by alcohol abuse.

Since her mother’s death, Green has found a cathartic impact in working with seniors who need specific care.

“I lost my mother, but now I come here and have lots of mothers,” Green said. “I also have plenty of dads I can call dad.”

It’s a calling Green says goes back to when she was a kid.

Taking steps to earn her bachelor’s degree, she hopes to eventually own her own senior-living community and continue working with memory-care clients.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to work here at The Grove,” Green said. “I love it every day I come to work.”