September 18, 2015

Recreational Programming for the Young at Heart

By Jim Honohan, Director of Recreational Programming, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare
How important are activities in your life? When you start to think about it, you will most likely find that the things you do to keep busy are what gives you the most enjoyment in life.
We all enjoy keeping ourselves busy with a variety of activities, whether it be going out for a nice dinner, going to a play, concert or movie, playing games with friends, reading, making art, having a good discussion, or singing at the top of our lungs. Our interests that give us pleasure and personal satisfaction do not disappear simply because we have aged. At the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, we recognize that our residents and clients still possess a burning desire to have meaningful engagements throughout their day. We know how vital it is to keep our residents busy with the things that interest them the most. That’s why we have created robust recreational programming activities designed specifically for the populations we serve.
Each facility operated by the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare begins their morning with after-breakfast exercise and cognitive stimulation such as word games, arts and crafts, sing-a-longs, reminiscing, current events, and more.  After lunch, residents can look forward to a live concert, interactive bingo, competitive bowling or other games, beading or decoration making. We also offer a Yiddish schmooz, trivia group, and monthly birthday celebrations. Many residents enjoy our restaurant trips and mystery ride outings around Boston and the North Shore. By supper time, our residents have created some incredible memories. These activities keep the residents busy, not letting them dwell about the ailments that have placed them into a skilled nursing facility or assisted living residence. They are simply enjoying the moment. In fact, many of our residents’ family members have said that despite enjoying a nice lunch out together, their loved one is eager to return to the facility to see friends and so they don’t miss out on a fun activity.
The responsibility of creating meaningful engagement does not fall solely on the staff of the Recreational Programming Department. As employees of the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, we all have an obligation to engage with our residents.  If we are a housekeeper or dietary staff member, or work in any other department within the company, it is just as important to help fulfill the lives of all our residents. We acknowledge our residents with a pleasant greeting, we engage in brief conversation, and if a resident looks sad or confused, we offer them a moment of our time to help ease their emotions. At the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, we believe that every employee has the ability to make a profound positive impact on another person’s life. It is truly a blessing that we have the opportunity to do so each day with our residents.
Working for the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare means that we are all part of a large family. Each employee is like a sibling and the residents are our parents, aunts, uncles, etc. This philosophy is supported throughout every level of the organization and is apparent from the moment you walk through our front doors. We urge you to come on in and see for yourself!