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Arbor’s Star of the Year award honors staff who show commitment, compassion, and a willingness to go above and beyond as part of their mission to improve the lives of our senior residents. Christine Wallen, Arbor Star of the Year 2018, has served the Arbor community since March 2018. We’re thrilled to have her commitment to senior living at Arbor Terrace Naperville. She is currently our Lead Dining Room Server. This very public role means she interacts with our residents daily, talking to them about their lives and their needs, and ensuring they eat quality, delicious food each and every day. 

Finding Meaning in Senior Living

Most people who meet Christine assume she’s worked in senior living for years. Her gentleness and warmth betray a serious and dedicated understanding of the needs of our senior residents. But this is actually her first time serving a senior living community. The seniors in her own family inspired her to make the career switch. She loved supporting them, and thought she might also enjoy helping other seniors. We’re grateful she made the move, because senior living is a natural fit for Christine.

At Arbor, we find that people with rich and meaningful lives are highly adept at helping seniors to cultivate meaningful lives of their own. Christine grew up in Chicago, and has 2 sons. She enjoys reading Stephen King, listening to music, watching horror movies, playing trivia games, roller skating, bike riding, and collecting Barbie dolls. She brings many of these passions to work every day, allowing her personality to shine through in her interactions with seniors.

Making a Difference Every Day

Christine says that interacting with residents and building lasting relationships with them is the best part of her job. This is a sentiment we hear echoed across the Arbor community. Our team deeply cares for seniors, and believes they get as much from their relationships with seniors as they give.

Christine takes pride in her work at Arbor, and is proud of her hardworking team. She also says she has one of the best bosses she’s ever had. And while she’s proud of her award, she emphasized that she does this work because she cares—not for recognition.

“It’s nice to be recognized. Although I don’t do it for the recognition, it still feels good,” she said.

She urges others to consider a career in senior living if they’d like to make a difference in the lives of elders. So what’s her advice to current or prospective senior living employees?

“It’s hard work. You need to have patience and compassion for them. But if you have the passion, it can be very rewarding,” said Christine. “Show respect and kindness to everyone, no matter who they are.”

The Arbor Company has received numerous awards for its exceptional senior care, including several Pinnacle Quality Insight Customer Experience Awards. We carefully select each member of our team, choosing only people with a deep commitment to quality senior care and a keen understanding that aging can be a journey of deep personal growth. Senior living at Arbor Terrace Naperville offers a continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. We can help you or your loved one shape the perfect retirement, complete with a deep sense of community, excellent food, and plenty to do. To learn more, give us a call!


Renee Rzeszutko

About the Author: Renee Rzeszutko

Renee has worked for more than the last decade directly serving the senior population. Known for her open door policies and "I work for you" attitude, she is always available to residents, family members, and staff. Whether you have a question or concern or just need to chat, she will greet you will a warm smile and a compassionate heart. Renee makes her home in Huntley and enjoys spending time with her husband and college-aged children.

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