Psynergy’s program managers help craft a meaningful season
Everyone has a different view of the holidays, and one of the challenges that Psynergy’s program managers face is finding a way to connect residents with the holiday itself, and with each other.
Shanna Thompson, who is Program Manager at Nueva Vista Sacramento, likes to showcase residents’ talents whenever she can. So this year, residents celebrated the Holidays by writing poems to mark the season. Some wrote about winter, and some about Christmas cheer, presents and Santa. Thirteen residents and Thompson wrote poems, and Thompson laid them out in a colorful book with bordered pages, stitched together with cording.
“I made 30 booklets, which involved lots of stitching by my fireplace at home,” laughs Thompson. The books were distributed to the poets first, and the remainder went to residents and staff who wanted a copy. The poets each read their composition on Christmas Eve in the Rise and Shine group, which is one of several creative writing groups that flourish at Nueva Vista Sacramento.
“The groups increase resident’s writing and analytical skills, and help them explore emotions and feelings, which fosters self-confidence, identity and socialization. These skills help residents gain more independence and mental well-being,” says Thompson.
Outings are always popular, and Danitta Means, Program Manager at Vista de Robles, loves to reach out into the community to find a way for residents to enjoy the holiday season. This year, she took three groups of Psynergy residents from Vista de Robles back to the 40’s . . . the Fab 40’s, that is. This neighborhood in the heart of East Sacramento is famous for its historic Christmas lights display on 40th – 49th Streets. Each group visited Starbucks for hot chocolate before embarking on a curated tour of the area’s extravagant Christmas light displays.
“This neighborhood is only about 15 minutes away from us,” says Means. “The entire neighborhood does spectacular Christmas lights, with horse-drawn carriages and Christmas music everywhere. We took three groups on succeeding nights, and it was truly beautiful and memorable for everyone,” Means related.
In addition to events like these, the Psynergy staff enjoys making the season meaningful with special meals and small gifts. And when it’s over for another year, everyone has bright memories to look back on.
With best wishes for a Happy New Year from everyone at Psynergy!