Editor’s note: McKnight’s Home Care, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living are profiling the McKnight’s 2022 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 5 through Aug. 11. For additional McKnight’s Women of Distinction content, visit this page.

Most Thursdays, you can find Rosita Taylor pushing a mobile theme cart, bringing goodies and snacks to the residents of Brookdale West Boynton Beach in Boynton Beach, FL. Taylor, the Brookdale Senior Living community’s health and wellness director, goes door to door throughout the community — in a costume, no less.

On Fridays, on the other hand, you might find Taylor in the beauty salon doing residents’ hair, trying to make everyone she can help feel beautiful and happy.

It is from those acts of kindness, exemplified by Taylor daily, that her spirit and affection are seen. Colleagues describe her as someone who is there for everyone, an asset to her fellow managers and associates, and a volunteer who helps without being asked, according to Brookdale Senior Director of Communications Caroline Sprouse.

“She embodies the Brookdale mission and is truly gifted at lovingly serving seniors,” Sprouse said. “Rosita has a way about her that brings a sense of calmness even through chaos.”

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor, without hesitation or being asked, packed her bag, pillows and blankets and moved into the senior living community. She remained there full time for more than two weeks to ensure the safety and well-being of residents and staff members. 

Colleagues such as Sprouse say that this example is a prime one of the dedication, courage and passion that embody who Taylor is.

Taylor had dreamed of being a nurse ever since she saw their “elegant” uniforms in her home country of Barbados. Her grandmother, who raised her until she was 10, nurtured this passion and supported her goals.

Upon entering the workforce as a caregiver, Taylor started in pediatrics, but personal circumstances shifted her into caring for the elderly. Once she began working with older adults, she instantly found her fit.

Now living out one of her earliest dreams, Taylor is motivated and inspired by the lessons she learns from the older adults in her care. They are there for her, just as her grandma was as a child.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Home Care, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare. Silver sponsors include OnShift and PharMerica, and the Bronze sponsor is Reliant Rehabilitation. Table sponsors included Dreamscape, Gojo/Purell and Sound Physicians.