Since husband and wife Carroll and Donna Moore opened CarDon & Associates’ first senior living community more than 40 years ago, the company has been about “family caring for family.” Their children went on to form firm bonds with residents, caring for them like their own loved ones and keeping CarDon a family business by taking over ownership from their parents.
When you look at the Johnsey family, you can’t help but think about this family connection that made CarDon what it is today. Like the Moores, Amy Johnsey’s children didn’t fall far from the tree, following in their mother’s footsteps by working with her at CarDon’s Westfield community, Copper Trace.
The Johnseys live just a mile away from the community, so they saw its construction in 2014. In 2016, Amy served a stint in the dietary department, leaving for personal reasons but happily returning to work as a housekeeper in September of 2019. Amy’s 19-year-old daughter, Anna, joined shortly after in November, picking up where her mom left off in the dietary area.
For Amy and Anna, Copper Trace’s sense of family was especially clear the following year, throughout COVID.
“We’ve always had strong community spirit here, but during COVID, we really formed a family,” Amy said. “Since residents’ families couldn’t come in, the staff was their main source of interaction. It was rewarding to be here for them during that time.”
That family bond grew even stronger when Amy’s 16-year-old son, Zach, came to work in the dietary department. He and his sister have recruited several of their friends to join them as well.
“I think it’s a good experience for people their age to learn patience and to better understand older adults and how to interact with them,” Amy said. “I think it’s been beneficial for Anna and Zach to watch me interact with employees, managers and residents to show them a good work ethic. It’s also been great for them to see me in a different role other than their mom.”
But residents don’t let Amy forget that role, as they dote on Anna and Zach like their own grandchildren.
“The residents ask about the kids every day,” Amy said. “They feel like an extension of our family. Two of Anna and Zach’s grandparents have passed, and the others live far away, so it’s great for them to have this kind of interaction with older adults.”
“It’s nice to get to know the residents after Mom has told them so much about us,” Anna said. “We have a strong connection with them now.”
Working in the community also strengthens Anna and Zach’s bond as siblings.
“It’s fun because I kind of get to boss him around,” Anna said with a giggle.
“It’s OK … sometimes,” Zach said with the kind of dry wit and deadpan delivery that earned him the reputation as “the comedian” in the community’s kitchen.
Although they joke about working together, you can feel the love behind the laughs.
“Working together has been a wonderful experience for all of us,” Amy said. “Copper Trace feels like home.”