What is Maria's Place?
Our motto is “use it or lose it”.
The aging population is growing at a considerable rate. Finding fun and engaging activities for the body and mind can be challenging and the Maria’s Place team is dedicated to making it easy.
Our aim is for Maria's Place to be accessible to everybody; therefore, there is no charge for any of the activities on our website. Use the dropdown menu on top of every page to find activities that appeal to you. Some activities have a little lock on them; use the signup button to get full access to all our activities. There are no hidden charges.
We have designed our activities with seniors in mind, and we bring you hundreds of FREE, fun activities and ideas for this generation.
Whether you are an older person looking for something to do or a caregiver looking for ideas to incorporate into the daily lives of those in your care, you are bound to find activities and advice to suit your interests. We provide information on adapting them to different ability levels if you need it.
If you are a professional working in senior care, we give tips on using activities one-on-one, in groups, and with different levels of dementia.
We hope you enjoy browsing Maria's Place, and we would love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions.
And remember, “we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing” (wise words from Mr. George Bernard Shaw).
Our Trusted Experts
Meet the individuals who have made Maria’s place possible. Click on a portrait to read their biographies.
Maria BradyChief of Content
Maria has a passion and love for the older generation.
She embraces the challenge of working with people in varying stages of cognitive ability. In Maria’s Place, she aims to educate, share fun activities, and inspire people to broaden their horizons and expand their life journey.
Maria enjoys the stories of a life lived and believes that it is never too late to learn a new skill.
Maria has a degree in Fine Arts and 20+ years of crafting experience. She has for many years combined her interest in arts and crafts with working with the older generation. Facilitating craft workshops and as an activity director in nursing homes.
Maria is originally from Sweden and lives in Ireland, where she has spent most of her life.
Nichole BontragerChief Executive Officer
Nichole Bontrager is here to serve and lead a life and company full of purpose. She strives to make a difference in the world and has a passion for the older generation.
She is deep-rooted in business and leadership and believes that combining business, purpose, and impact makes for a better world.
Nichole brings team members together who are passionate and are leaders in their fields. Together, they create a powerful force for good.
Nichole lives in the mountains of Colorado with her two children, husband, and animals.
Ryan IguchiChief Tech Officer
Ryan is the brains behind the Maria's Place website. With over 25 years of web development and project management experience, he leads Maria’s Place's digital team. Ryan is a solution finder and a creative innovator. He is always thinking up new ways to share education and resources with caregivers around the world.
Through personal experience with his Grandma, he has a deep affinity for caregiver support and lifelong learning. Ryan is based in California, with roots in Colorado.
Destia TaylorVP of Sales
Destia Taylor is passionate about sales, team building, and spreading the message of Maria's Place far and wide. Before Maria’s Place, she managed the top sales team in one of the largest web companies in the US.
Destia is a caring and motivational person who inspires others. She lives in the mountains of Colorado with her husband and two children.
Stephanie GiangiulioDirector of Therapeutic Recreation
Stephanie has a Bachelor's Degree in Therapeutic Recreation and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.
She is an expert in adapting and providing meaningful, individualized programming for older adults. Stephanie has a deep passion for helping activity departments to thrive. She serves as a mentor, coach, and success partner to Maria's Place clients.
Before Maria's Place, she served as the Director of Life Enrichment and Volunteer Services in a senior living community. She designed the Life Engagement program from the ground up and brought the community to 5 stars.
Stephanie is from Michigan and now lives in the mountains of Colorado. She is adventurous and family-oriented.
Colbi VaillancourtDevelopment Coordinator
Colbi is passionate about growing a strong Maria’s Place team and brand. She cares deeply about others and loves being able to provide a happy place for people to reach out to when they feel alone and want to be a part of a community.
Colbi's biggest goal is to help Maria’s place reach older adults worldwide and find ways to bridge gaps between generations.
Colbi has an economics degree and lives in the mountains of Colorado.
Kay MarteSales & Tech
Kay is a key support person for the Maria’s Place team, specializing in sales and tech. She has a passion for technology, customer relations, and digital marketing. Kay is fascinated with the rapidly evolving tech landscape and business surrounding it.
She is family-oriented, cares about making a positive impact, and is based in the Philippines.
Karen FrancisCaregiver Support
Karen is a passionate supporter and educator to both caregivers and people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She is a “Memory Care” consultant.
In Maria’s Place, Karen facilitates online support groups and shares her vast knowledge and experience with us in videos and articles.
Karen is a two-time recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association “Caring Hearts, Helping Hands” Volunteer-of-the-Year award. She also received the Presidential Service Award in 2009 for service to the Alzheimer’s population.
Karen has a Masters Degree in Social Work, a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology, and a Certificate of Gerontology.
She lives in Pennsylvania.