A Joyful Reunion for Social Services Manager Morgan Walters

Social workers are the unsung heroes of senior living communities like Carlyle Place in Macon, GA. They labor tirelessly to support residents and families through challenges large and small—from minimizing stress on move-in day to coping with changing healthcare needs.

When a social worker already has a treasured history with a community, they’re even more driven to create an environment that cultivates mental and emotional wellness in retirement. Just ask Morgan Walters, who began her second act at Carlyle Place in 2022 as our Social Services Manager.

Moving From Food Services to Social Services

Although Morgan grew up in Forsyth, she’s been planting roots at Carlyle Place since her teenage years. Before discovering her calling in social services, Morgan worked part-time as a server in our restaurant-style dining room, where she forged connections that have lasted through today.

“I’ve always loved interacting with seniors—and the residents here are so vibrant and engaging,” she says. “Many feel like grandparents to me because I spent so much time serving and chatting with them.”

After high school, Morgan considered following her mother into the nursing field, but later decided that her passion for service was guiding her toward social work. As luck (or some might say karma) would have it, Carlyle Place was looking for a Social Services Manager a few years after Morgan graduated from Middle Georgia State.

“I always thought it would be great to work at Carlyle Place again, because there’s such a positive vibe here… like a cruise ship on land,” Morgan says. “So when the position opened up, I jumped at the chance.”

And if you were wondering if the folks at Carlyle Place remembered Morgan from her dining room days, the answer is a resounding yes. “I’m always running into people I met as a teenager and many of them tell me I still look the same, which I’ll take as a compliment,” she laughs.

A Champion and Advocate on Behalf of Seniors

From facilitating discussions about care plans to addressing day-to-day resident concerns, social workers like Morgan work to ensure that every resident’s voice is heard, their rights are respected and their choices are honored.

If you were to follow Morgan around on a “typical” day, your biggest question might be, “How does she do it all?” (Morgan’s multitasking abilities are even more impressive when you learn she’s also the proud mom of a 6-month-old son.)

“Balancing everything that comes my way can be a challenge sometimes,” she says. “For instance, I handle admissions and discharges when residents move to a higher level of our continuum of care. That adds up to tons of paperwork!”

“Also, when someone transitions to healthcare or memory care, it can be a bit overwhelming, both for residents and their families. So I spend a lot of time simply listening to people talk about their needs and preferences and understanding where they’re coming from.”

Morgan has also found time to complete extensive training in trauma-informed care, which focuses on how past physical or psychological trauma affects a person’s state of mind. “If we know about past traumas, we can educate the rest of our staff, so they can avoid anything that might be triggering,” Morgan explains. “It’s so important to ensuring mental and emotional wellness for every resident.”

Working to Outshine the Darkness of Alzheimer’s Disease

The summer solstice has special meaning for people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, because that’s when the Alzheimer’s Association holds its annual Longest Day fundraiser. Morgan leads the charge for the day’s activities at our Macon, GA senior living community.

“I coordinate several Alzheimer’s Association fundraisers each year, but the month of June is huge,” Morgan says. “We just wrapped up a resident bake sale that raised over $500, and I’m hoping our Longest Day event will do even better.”

The day kicks off with a community pancake breakfast, followed by a walk to honor or remember loved ones affected by dementia. Residents and staff can also purchase T-shirts with a logo symbolizing a light shining through the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Everyone on our healthcare team—myself included—is a certified dementia practitioner, so we take to heart how much negativity is associated with this condition,” Morgan explains. “It’s heartwarming to see the entire Carlyle Place community coming together to bring a little positivity to it.”

Daily Connections Lead to Life-Enriching Opportunities

Morgan spends countless hours interacting with residents of Carlyle Place and their families, so it isn’t surprising that she’s formed many strong bonds, particularly with the residents of our skilled nursing neighborhoods.

“Even something as simple as saying ‘hello’ or paying a compliment can brighten someone’s day, whether they express it verbally or not. And these small interactions foster connections and build trust between myself and the people I serve.”

But there’s one story that really stands out, one she’ll cherish for the rest of her life. “I got to know one woman who transitioned to memory care before I arrived,” Morgan explains. “I thought assisted living might better suit her needs since some of her memory issues were medication related. Her family was understandably hesitant, so I listened to their concerns, advocated on her behalf and together, we agreed to the transition last June.”

So how did things work out? “She’s absolutely thriving!” Morgan exclaims. “Whenever I see her, she gives me a hug and thanks me for working so hard for her. It’s so rewarding… I really felt like I made a difference.”

A Passion for People Is at the Heart of Our Life Plan Community

Social workers’ commitment to compassion, advocacy and empowerment is essential to creating a welcoming environment where every voice counts. At Carlyle Place, our entire team shares Morgan’s dedication to providing residents with top-tier service and a fulfilling lifestyle.

To schedule your tour of our supportive senior living community in Macon, GA., call 478-405-4500.

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