FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Ruthie Brew’s main goal as director of Forsyth County Senior Services is to help people age well and have a higher quality of life, no matter what stage they’re in.
“I find this very meaningful,” Brew said. “I feel like we are making a difference in people’s lives. It’s a privilege to be in a position where you can enrich someone’s life.”
Since October 2016, Brew has overseen and directed the county’s three Senior Services centers, programs, services, operations and activities.
With more than 15 years of experience in the field of aging, mostly in Chicago, Brew feels passionate about what the department does.
“I love working with older adults,” she said. “I was always close to my grandparents and many of us who enjoy working in this field had close relationships with theirs, too. It’s like we get to be with our grandparents every day.”
Some of the goals of the department are to maintain the independence of life and improve the quality of life for seniors in the community.
“We are in the life enrichment business, which we all need at some point,” she said.
When Brew started her career, she thought she might want to be a social worker and ended up becoming a case worker.
“I decided I wanted to be of service in my career, but I decided I didn’t want to be in that end of service,” Brew said.
Brew went back to school and earned a master’s in nonprofit management and worked in the administration end of nonprofits throughout her career.
She got into the aging field by accident. After being a stay-at-home mom for 14 years, she was at the Presbyterian church in Chicago when she learned of an opening for a volunteer coordinator in the local senior home.
She went on to do community relations for another senior community and also worked for a municipal organization leading the senior center for eight years.
“I’ve essentially done almost every job we have in this department,” Brew said. “I feel well-qualified and excited to apply my background to Forsyth County Senior Services.”
And the community is a great place for seniors to live, Brew said, due to the multiple active adult centers and the low costs at the centers for patrons.
“There are some nice perks to retiring in Forsyth County,” Brew said. “Cumming was rated one of the top places to retire in the nation. It’s because of the tax breaks, amazing senior service amenities we have, and of course it’s a beautiful environment.”