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Life Skills and Learning Center April Update

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Advocates
April 5, 2021

An Update from Advocates Life Skills and Learning Center 

Cheers to a new year, we welcome 2021!

The winter was challenging with more snow days than expected, but we shoveled our way through. We continue to provide on-site services to more than 100 people, with our remaining friends participating in remote services, including virtual and in-person home visits.

One year of living in the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, and we are feeling some light at the end of this long tunnel. We are thrilled to share that 90% of Day Services staff have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

As many of your loved ones are also getting vaccinated, please know that we are still mandated to follow all social distancing guidelines, which allows for 130 friends on site each day.

Remember though, each day is a new day, and we work through it with lots of cleaning, socially distanced fun activities, and smiling faces. We will all come together soon!

 

Sincerely, 

Elizabeth Bardasz
Senior Director of Developmental and Brain Injury Day Services

 

NURSING CORNER

Update brought to you by Emily Donahue, Senior Healthcare Coordinator / RN

We’ve made it through winter and are looking forward to the warmer days ahead! At Advocates Life Skills & Learning Center, we continue to follow the same health and safety policies and procedures. Our friends have been doing a great job wearing their masks!

The nurses and I also provide ongoing education to individuals and staff about relevant topics including mask-wearing, social distancing, and effective cleaning, as well as healthy living topics such as nutrition, exercise, and hygiene. We develop daily activities and educational sessions that are used for remote programming and on site.

 

REMOTE SERVICES

Update brought to you by Kathy D’Errico, Director of Day Supports

A surprise guest appeared on one of our Zoom calls recently! We were thrilled to have Animal Adventures join us to give a tour of the zoo with up-close encounters with many animals and reptiles.

In addition to offering virtual programming, home visits, and calls, we are also providing door stop visits to engage with some of our friends who we otherwise don’t see.

As spring and summer approach, be on the look out for activity bags for those at home, drop by visits, and themed evening Zoom sessions.

 

 

ON-SITE SPECIAL EVENTS

Update brought to you by Alex Bobola, Case Manager 

We have had so much fun at our day program over the past few months!

In February, we held a Valentine’s Day social where we made crafts and slime and used walkie talkies to play bingo with the entire program.

In March, we celebrated Spirit Week with themes like Decades Day and Formal Friday. Our friends dressed to impress or dressed from a totally different era, dude! We also celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with an explosion of green and had fun making tie dye shirts.

Be on the lookout for many more special events coming up.

 

COMMUNITY BASED DAY SUPPORTS

Update brought to you by Eric Dwinnells, Senior Case Manager

Have you ever seen wood burned picture frames or paper mâché flower vases? Well, we loved creating these fun projects!

The Community Based Day Supports (CBDS) group is busy going to many of our usual hangouts including local parks and walking trails. On an unseasonably warm day, we had the chance to visit the Harbor in Gloucester and the Sudbury Gristmill, where we enjoyed walking around the beautiful countryside.

Safety is a continued priority, so we make sure we are always wearing our masks and sanitizing our hands before and after visits, as well as sanitizing the van after each use.

 

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

Update brought to you by Colleen Graham, Assistant Director of Employment Services

We welcomed back 10 more people to work and now have more than 20 individuals working in the community! 

Employment staff are holding trainings for those who have not yet been able to return to work, as well as developing connections in the local community for employment opportunities.

Charlie is one of our friends who has not only worked steadily throughout the pandemic but doubled his working hours. For 19 years, Charlie has worked as a cart attendant at The Home Depot, where he is well-liked by his co-workers.

When the pandemic hit and there was a need for help at work, Charlie eagerly stepped up, sharing that he is happy to work the additional hours and doesn’t mind wearing a mask. What he misses most since the pandemic is going out in the community for recreation and concerts in the parks.

 

About the Life Skills and Learning Center: Through our Day and Employment Services at the Life Skills & Learning Center, Advocates staff partners with adults who have disabilities and their families to customize experiences and activities uniquely suited to each person’s interests, skills, needs, and goals. Learn more at www.Advocates.org/LSLC.