Lifting Winter’s Heavy Mantle of Hibernation – Bring on Spring and Socialization!

Okay. Not to sound like too much of a whiner, but I am so done with this winter and we are only 17 days in!  It doesn’t help that my birthday happens to fall on the Winter Solstice, a rip-off all around – not only is it the shortest day of the year, but how am I supposed to fully celebrate a day that also begins a season of darkness and hibernation? So not fair.

But, I am biding my time and waiting for the little signs that Spring is on the way, i.e., the third week in January, when it is undeniably light at 5 pm or hearing the morning chirp of the first robins and, of course, the all important sighting of crocuses breaking through the brown earth despite patches of snow still visible here and there. It is such a psychological boost to know we are headed in the right direction – that our next season is Spring! We can come out of our caves and rejoin civilization, as it were. No more feeling trapped and isolated. Thank goodness ours is obviously a seasonal and temporary situation, and one we can, of course, manage as we must still go about our tasks, jobs and responsibilities. We’d just rather not in the dead of winter!

Unfortunately, there are people for whom this sense of captivity and isolation is ongoing. Many of our seniors who are no longer driving and in need of a little assistance are often stuck in their homes year round, regardless of the season. Relying upon family and friends to bring them shopping or get them out of the house to socialize can be difficult to schedule as everyone is always so busy.

The new emphasis on helping seniors “age in place” is raising awareness of this particular situation as well and various programs are being developed to ensure that seniors have the services they need to remain living successfully in the community. One such program, the Adult Day Social program, is becoming better known and new ones are being developed to meet this growing need.

These programs are designed for seniors who live alone or who live with their family/caregiver, but can still benefit from gentle supervision, structure, social interaction, nutritious meals and engaging programs during the day. The adult day social program not only provides the senior with an opportunity to participate in a social setting, it also allows their caregiver some time to take care of their own responsibilities and needs as well. There is also a heightened awareness of the caregiver’s demanding role and their need for support as well.

Social Adult Day programs are especially helpful to people who might need a little reminder to better participate in the activities of daily living, such as eating, walking and personal grooming, etc. All activities are adapted to the needs of the group through the skilled direction of our Senior Program Specialists. Everyone is encouraged to participate at their own level under the observant eyes of empathetic professionals who encourage the abilities of each person with dignified direction. And, for those times when seniors may want to reminisce or nap, Quiet Rooms are typically available for a tranquil respite.

In addition, transportation is often available and certain Managed Care, Medicaid Managed Care and Private Insurances are accepted, but can vary from program to program.

If you know of someone who could benefit from a Social Adult Day program or would like more information, please call Bethel Homes and Services which offers a Social Adult Day Program, in addition to other community-based services, independent and assisted senior living, short-term rehabilitation, and long-term care in Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining, at 914-739-6700.

We all want to be sprung from our isolation and doldrums, be it seasonal or otherwise  – and with a little cooperation from Mother Nature to expedite Spring’s arrival we can more easily break out of our hibernation!

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