Cover Stories

Tuned In

Being part of the McKnight Place Assisted Living & Memory Care family is all about creating connections. Staff members are more than just an occasional presence; they’re among residents every day as friends and allies, and they bring a wealth of experience and commitment to their roles, says music therapist Samantha Hinson.

“The best part about working at McKnight Place is getting to develop personal relationships,” she notes. “Each resident is different, and it’s an exciting challenge to learn what makes them feel happy and fulfilled. We also get to know their families well because we know how important their role is.”

Hinson helps bring out each resident’s expressive side by immersing them in the healing power of song. “Almost everyone has a connection to music,” she says. “Even when a person develops dementia, that link is not lost. So much can be brought back to their lives through music.” She exposes seniors to music history, musical games, instruments and vocal performance as an important way of enriching their lives.

“Our residents love practicing and singing in the choir, and they perform several shows throughout the year,” Hinson says. “We develop a sense of community through music, and it’s amazing to witness that in action every day.” She also provides individual music therapy sessions for seniors who prefer a more personal learning environment, and she organizes special musical events for wedding anniversaries and holidays.

In fact, the McKnight Place calendar is always full of enjoyable gatherings and happenings. To mark the season, the community will host a holiday party for residents and families Dec. 12, and on Dec. 17, the jolly man himself will make an appearance at Carols and Cookies with Santa. The McKnight Singers will entertain guests, and there will be a show of residents’ artwork as well. Throughout the month of December, seniors can enjoy art and music discussions, holiday movies, gingerbread house decorating and more.

Resident John Mozley says the many social and creative outlets at McKnight Place make him feel right at home. “I’ve made friends with other men here, and it feels like I’ve known them forever,” he says. “Every year, I look forward to the holiday party with live entertainment so I can dance with my wife. All of the fun things going on are definitely the best part of living here.”

Hinson says it’s an honor to play a role in the comfort, happiness and well-being of seniors. “There are so many great opportunities for everyone here,” she says. “The sky is the limit not just for residents, but for us as professionals to be creative and meet their needs. McKnight Place is very person-centered, and that gives me the chance to individualize my work with our seniors, all of whom have rich, interesting histories. It’s such a privilege to learn about their personal stories, accomplishments and values and be a part of their lives now.”

McKnight Place Assisted Living & Memory Care in Ladue is part of The Gatesworth family of senior residences. Led by executive director Laura Ritthamel, the community offers compassionate care and peace of mind for residents and their families. Pictured on the cover: Vivienne and John Mozley. For more information, call 314.993.3333 or visit

Cover courtesy of McKnight Place

Pictured at top: Residents enjoy holiday festivities.
Photo courtesy of McKnight Place