Laurie Dorough takes over as new Daisy Hill director
Laurie Dorough said there are several reasons she took the job of executive director at Daisy Hill Senior Living, among them more responsibility and more opportunities to interact with patients, their families and employees. There’s also less driving – the 1994 Woodford County High School graduate’s husband and three children live in Versailles, and the trip to Daisy Hill and back is a short one. Dorough’s first day on the job was Dec. 8, succeeding Chad Helton, who she said helped recruit her. Before that, she was community relations manager at The Homeplace at Midway, and also worked for the Alzheimer’s Association and ran her own full-time direct sales business. “I wasn’t necessarily looking to leave Midway by any means. Sometimes we have to be open to opportunities, and realize when they are present and when we are ready. … Dorough said. “Being able to interact and engage on a daily basis with the rhythms of the home and the residents is really my passion. …” Dorough said 35 residents live in the 42 “apartments” at Daisy Hill, with four cottages in the works for later this year. “We have some people that drive to their own doctor’s appointments. They just love the resort living that we can provide here at Daisy Hill, which is meals provided, house-keeping provided. There is somebody if you need assistance,” she said. Dorough praises Daisy Hill’s activities department, who she said look for that “meaningful moment, which really provides the routine and structure that residents thrive on.” On this day, she got a cup of coffee for herself and Ted Collins, who moved in about two-and-a-half months ago. “She’s a mean one,” he joked. “Hey, we’re friends,” Dorough said with mock concern. Later, she spoke about how much such moments mean to her – to hear a resident’s “life story” – and was asked about the difference between her and Helton. “I’ve been told I’m prettier to look at. That I have hair and he doesn’t,” Dorough said with a laugh, then added that she’d been told by more than one person that she’d have big shoes to fill. “He came in, laid all the administrative groundwork and community relationships, so the expectations are just to continue to develop the marketing …” Dorough said. “To be empowered to have sort of your own community setting and run with it has been great. The foundation has been laid, so it’s sort of an easy entry …” While Dorough wants residents to think of Daisy Hill as their home, because it’s an assisted living facility, some will eventually need the level of care only a traditional nursing home can provide. “The goal here is safety and care. And when we can’t meet those needs and we can’t outsource (them) … in the community setting, that’s when we have those conversations. My goal is with everybody who’s already here or coming in, they’ll never be a surprise in conversation,” Dorough said. No matter how well prepared all the parties are, it can be a difficult discussion, Dorough said. “… To make change is always hard. Moving is the hardest thing we’ll ever do in life, you know?” Dorough said. Her job then, she said, is to help the resident and their loved ones make the right decision – together.