Meet the Oaks of Bensalem Staff! We are proud to serve you.
Jerry M. Karpoleh, Culinary Director
Hello, my name is Jerry M. Karpoleh, Culinary Services Director. I’m a graduate of the Star Career Academy school of Commercial Cooking. and have been working in the food industry since 2000. My first employment opportunity was at McDonald’s and then at various restaurants learning new skills and cooking techniques as my responsibilities expanded. Some might say I stayed in the food industry all these years because it was my first job, this may be partly true, but over time I truly began to love the art of cooking and the incorporation of different methods and ingredients to produce appealing and flavorful dishes. I started cooking in the Assisted Living community in 2006, and it renewed my interest in the culinary field. Cooking for the elderly presents a new set of challenges– if you’re not learning new techniques or innovating, then you’re not moving forward. I quickly learned that elderly residents often have different dietary needs, not just your typical “short order” menu selections. Like everything in life, with a little time and commitment, I mastered a new style of cooking. One of the most challenging parts of my job is working with residents to determine the kind of food they enjoy, and then replicating some favorite family recipes (while observing dietary restrictions). Our Culinary Team is always thrilled to get the residents’ stamp of approval at the end of a meal we’ve created especially for them. It encourages us to keep finding just the right ingredients to make our residents smile. Bon Appetite!
Cathy Rooney, Director of Administrative Services
“It takes a village”, this phrase full applies to Oaks of Bensalem. We are truly a team who not only take care of the residents, but each other. It has always been true in my own life as well. As an only child in Northeast Philadelphia, my paternal grandparents lived with us. They helped to raise me as both of my parents worked outside the home. When it came time to give back to them, we did not hesitate and became a family of caregivers. Both of my grandparents lived with us until their passing. I married, had a child, and returned to live in my childhood home, this time to help help my mother as she cared for my father who was diagnosed with cancer. We remained as my mother then needed the attention and care. It has been second nature to me to give not only to my family, but to the neighborhood, church, and anyone in need. The “Oaks” and this community make me feel rewarded and fulfilled at the end of each work day.
Brenda Brolly, Director of Activities
I have been working in a healthcare and educational communities for 20 years, both on the East Coast and in Ireland. Most of my work has been in a caring capacity in homes for the elderly, schools, special needs day centers and children’s homes. It has always been in my nature to promote an atmosphere of community with caring and skilled professionals and high standards. As a young girl, I was extremely close to my grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. I recall visiting her in a care facility and noticing how attentive the staff were to both her and my family. This experience remains with me and I have a deep appreciation for the importance of senior care, especially when it comes to memory care. I use the tools that I learned as a preschool teacher, coupled with Dementia training, to implement a program that is person centered and involves getting to know the whole person and engaging them. This is why I enjoy working at Oaks of Bensalem, it makes my job much more satisfying, because I believe so strongly in our community and the way each resident is treated with dignity and respect.
Patrick Jajua, Resident Service Director
My name is Patrick Jajua, Resident Services Director for Personal Care; I am a Licensed Practical Nurse. I began working with residents with intellectual disabilites where I advocated on behalf of their needs. I eventually focused my career in the field of skilled nursing facilities and home care, for a many years, because I feel fulfilled in helping people maintain their best quality of life. I believe in creating and building a trusting relationship between my residents and their families. I look forward to meeting you when you visit our community or ultimately choose to call the “Oaks” home.
Dan Roche, Maintenance Director
Hello, my name is Dan Roche, Maintenance Director at Oaks of Bensalem. It’s always been in my nature to help others and to do the best that I can with what has been given to me in life. I’ve had many careers, many years in the restaurant business like my father and brother but I never felt is was my true calling! I’ve always had a passion for creating things while growing up, from drawing to building things in my dad’s workshop. Tools have always amazed me, and I’m fascinated by the way they are used to create and fix things. This led me in the direction of construction, working from flooring to framing houses. There was something still missing, so I applied for a maintenance opening at the “Oaks”. Now I find myself here, twenty-three years later. This has been the most satisfying career I have had, working with people that have the same passion as I do. To be able to help the elderly with some everyday needs has been one of the most rewarding and challenging times in my life. So far, I can’t see myself choosing anything else. It’s been truly a home away from home!