January 25, 2021
At Adult Day Services, last year started off with our individuals going on community outings, volunteering at local organizations, assisting with coat drives. As we saw community participation growing and becoming more involved in our local community, we never would have thought that so quickly we would be switching gears. There were many challenges and changes to address. Easterseals Adult Day Services has done well confronting them. We have been creative, practiced new skills and found new solutions to continue serving individuals with disabilities.
In April, Adult Day Services started offering remote services by meeting with day program participants on Zoom. It was exciting to see the familiar faces and the joy they experienced by seeing their peers. Encouraged by the level of participation and the benefit to our members, the remote services soon increased to twice a day. Through our re-opening of the facility in June, ADS continued to offer remote services allowing those at home to visit with people able to be at the day program site. We have 2 one-hour meetings Monday-Friday.
During remote services, staff encourage socialization between staff and peers, discuss topics of interest and encourage participation. Skills in areas of self-care, wellness, communication, technology, community participation, and socialization are practiced. Special Guests join periodically to educate, entertain and empower our participants. Staff play online educational games that practice language, math and other skills like telling time.
Music Monday allows us to discuss and enjoy a variety of musicians and music genres. We have focused on the decades and learned about music genres from showtunes to reggae. On Travel Thursday, we have gone all over the globe seeing highlights from Japan and Ecuador to National Parks and Pennsylvania. Virtual trips around the world allow us to explore different cultures and traditions.
National Bird Day was in the beginning of January. This gave us an opportunity to learn more about the creatures in our world. We listened to bird calls, remembering and enjoying their familiar sounds. Staff and participants shared ideas about bird feeders that can be made to support our feathered friends during the winter months.
Every zoom session includes an exercise portion. Some days the Hokey Pokey or other familiar songs get the meeting moving. Other days include progressive muscle relaxation or simple yoga stretches. Another activity is guiding our participants through an exercise that involves focusing on the breath. This teaches relaxation techniques that are a coping skill they can use throughout their life.
Through this variety of topics and activities, Adult Day Services strives to encourage the use of technology, expand their world, demonstrate kindness, caring and compassion. Over-all this enhances one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
2020 was not an easy year for the world or for Easterseals Central and Western Pennsylvania. We’ve all been challenged in a variety of ways. Being able to stay connected with the people we enjoy caring for has been a gift that has helped to make a difficult year brighter. I look forward to continuing to offer these services as we enter 2021 with the intention of expanding the services we offer to others, to continue sharing this gift.
We appreciate those that recognize the value of the services Easterseals provides. Please consider donating to Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania so we can continue to provide and grow the quality services for our community so that they can thrive from all we do.