By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
September 16-22 is National Adult Day Service Week, a nod to all of the senior citizen programs that help older adults enjoy their golden years with dignity.
“It’s a way to honor, celebrate, and make people aware of adult day care centers,” Sister Fran Picone, director of the senior center at Shore Hill in Bay Ridge. “These centers are so important. They give the older adult energy and puts positive thoughts before them. The centers are also god for the caregivers. It gives them rest.”
Seniors In Touch, a program sponsored by Lutheran HealthCare that shares space with the senior center at in Shore Hill, at 9000 Shore Road, will mark National Adult Day Service Week with an arts and crafts sale, an iPod donation drive, creating a memory scrapbook, an art exhibition, and by participating in the annual Brooklyn Walk To End Alzheimer’s.
“The whole idea is to let people know that we are here if they need us,” Sister Picone said.
The activities coincide with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Seniors In Touch. The difference between Seniors In Touch and a regular senior citizen center, according to Sister Picone, is that it provides services for older adults who are mentally or physically disabled. The services include “chair yoga,” for those seniors who have a hard time getting around, and “sit-down bowling,” in which older adults try to get strikes from a seated position.
Seniors In Touch will actually mark National Adult Day Services Week a bit late, Sister Picone said. “But we have wonderful things planned,” she said.
The arts and crafts sale will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the lobby of Lutheran Medical Center, 150 55th St., from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Among the items on sale will be greeting cards, postcards, and cook books created by the older adults in the Seniors In Touch program.
The iPod donation drive is going on throughout the month. Residents are asked to bring old iPods and MP3 players to Shore Hill for use in the Seniors In Touch program. “”We are trying to start a new program called ‘Music Memory’ for our patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Music often helps a patient with memory. They listen to a song they knew from long ago and they connect to it,” Sister Picone said.
On Monday, Sept. 24, the artistic talents of senior citizens will be on display at an art exhibition in the lobby of Ridgewood Savings Bank at 8522 Third Ave. The art exhibition will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The day before, on Sept. 23, the Seniors In Touch Program is sponsoring a team to participate in the Alzheimer’s walk. The walk, a charity event to raise money for research into a cure for the disease, will take place on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue starting at 10 a.m.
National Adult Day Services Week, usually held the third week in September, was established in 1983 by then-president Ronald Reagan, according to the National Adult Day Services Association. There are more than 4,000 centers across the country serving older adults, the association said.