2017 Nominees Section
Position: Program & Education Specialist
Organization: Alzheimer's Orange County
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Kim Bailey is one of the most engaging people to meet. Her big smile and sparkling eyes immediately invite warmth and fun. Her welcoming manner is not only what attracts new families to Programs & Education classes, but also keeps these families connected to resources.
Whether as part of the Compassionate Communication or Understanding Behaviors classes, facilitating portion of the Early Memory Loss Program/Connect 2 Culture or presenting any of the Overview classes to local professionals and colleges, Kim is the Program & Education Specialist and one of Alzheimer’s Orange County’s most gifted and valued staff. Kim is a Hero to both AOC and the local community.
Kim has worked in the field of gerontology as a lecturer and professional for over twenty-five years. She holds a Master of Science degree in Gerontology and is a former adjunct faculty professor, having taught aging courses at California State University, Fullerton and Vanguard University. Kim is well known and recognized in the community for her wealth of experience, education and fun-loving spirit.
Why should this person be nominated
Kim daily goes above and beyond the call of duty in her various roles and is one of the most requested instructors in academic and senior care settings. Her passion with caring for our seniors, and how she incorporates the framework to professionals about the specific vulnerabilities of this group, inspires practitioners to re-think their approach with caring for this community. Kim’s personal and “real-life” examples of what can happen to our elders, and where we need to be tenacious advocates on their behalf is admirable.
As a young adult, Kim never considered a career working with older adults. Ironically, she was working at the opposite end of the lifespan, as an instructional aide working with severely handicapped children in the public school system. She loved the work, yet felt she was called to pursue another field. At the “perfect time” an ad in the paper caught her eye. A San Diego-based corporation owning and operating special care units for people with Alzheimer’s disease was looking for a “people person” to create awareness of their facilities in Orange County. As Kim remembers, “For some reason, the ad “spoke” to me even though I knew absolutely nothing about the disease. In fact, I had to practice pronouncing it correctly for my interview…”
That was 27 years ago and Kim never looked back. She has been privileged to work as a Gerontologist across a variety of settings including non-profit, private sector, academia. “My greatest pleasure has been to work directly with the caregivers and people with memory loss at Alzheimer’s Orange County. This is the work that has totally and utterly filled my heart day in and day out.” Kim’s heart for of every single individual and family who walks through the door, feels accepted and cared for, which is often elusive when one receives a diagnosis. Instead of isolation and feeling “lost” or “different,” these folks feel that they belong and that they are loved. They are now empowered with information on next steps in this often scary journey. Kim is the angel who and Hero who makes this connection possible.