When you walk into Heritage Place Independent Living at 3:00 p.m., you might notice the large fish tank, the vaulted ceilings or the wood fireplace, but there is no way you will miss the assembly of people lined up to take their turn chatting with concierge, Betty Shelton.
Betty was born and raised in “Burlyvilee” as she likes to call it. “It’s just home. My grandmother lived here. My sons live here. My 33 grandkids live here. No one has ever flown the coop. Burleson is just a good town,” Betty said.
Betty had a successful business with her husband for 35 years. Her professional career also included working at Spinks Industries & Airport, a cattle ranch and a brick distribution company. For the past 11 years, Betty has worked at Heritage Place Independent Living.
“I love the people. I get so involved in their lives. I become really close with the residents and their families. The people make this place. We have such a friendly atmosphere here,”Betty said “If we have a new person move in, the group picks them up and shows them that we are all just one big happy family. The residents like being joked with and talked to. I like to make them feel good and add a little bit of extra fun in their lives.”
Betty has developed a personal relationship with each resident at Heritage Place. She recalls once when Executive Director, Beverly Joseph, started working, a resident came up to the front desk while Betty wasn’t there. Beverly assured her that she could help her with any issue but the resident responded that she would wait until Betty came back.
Betty enjoys working with all the friendly staff who put the residents first. “Beverly is the best. I’ve been under seven executive directors and she is the best I’ve worked for by far. She is always out talking with the residents and gets really involved. She will even get out there and mop or vacuum if needed. She makes my job very easy,” Betty said.
When Betty is not working at Heritage Place, you can find her volunteering. She works with the veterans in the Burleson area, planning Burleson’s Veteran’s Day event in Renfro Square’s Veteran’s Park and helping to raise money for the eagle statue placed there. She also volunteers for Heart for the Kids.
In connection with her work at Heritage Place, Betty works closely with the Alzheimer’s Association each year. “I don’t work for anybody that gets money. It’s a volunteer thing and the people at Heritage Place help me with all the fundraising I do,” Betty said.
If residents ever gripe about Heritage Place, Betty tells them to go visit a nursing home and reminds them that they don’t know good until they’ve seen how different their living situation could be. She takes pride in the place where she works and her favorite part of Heritage Place is the sense of community.
“We’ve got a hen house in our front lobby where all the ladies sit and chat. It’s great that they have so many friends. They would be sitting at home alone if they weren’t here,” Betty said.
Betty is 75 years old and has no plans of slowing down in the near future. “Everybody that retires just goes homes and sits. I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon,” Betty said.