Caregiving evening. On Shabbos, June 15, Harriet Blank, Ohel’s director of geriatric services, addressed an audience of over 70 people at the Young Israel of Bedford Bay, with the topic “Caregiving for our parents in the sandwich generation.” The sandwich generation is a term used to describe a generation of people who care for their aging parents, while simultaneously supporting their own children.
Harriet discussed caregiving tips, stress tips, and information on caring for your parents while juggling other responsibilities. The audience asked Harriet many questions about caregiving as well as other topics, and she was able to make everybody in the audience feel comfortable.
Ohel hosts seminars and discussions for all types of families and needs, and is planning a similar workshop for sandwich generation caregivers in the Young Israel of Woodmere. To contact Harriet Blank, e-mail Harriet_Blank@ohelfamily.org, or call at 718-686-3120.
Autism conference on social-skills development. On June 4, over 200 professionals, parents, and advocates attended the annual community conference on autism, sponsored by the Mel and Phyllis Zachter Ohel Institute for Training. This dynamic educational opportunity provided valuable insights and a range of practical strategies for promoting the development of social skills in children, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorders.
Key speakers included Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and Teresa Herrero-Taylor, Ph.D., BCBA-D, both of whom are experts in autism and the development of social skills, with many years of experience.
The conference received excellent reviews from both professionals and parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. One professional shared, “I’ve been in this field for 31 years and found both speakers to be motivating and inspiring.” Another commented, “This was a great learning experience. I’ve long wanted to be able to increase my clients’ quality of life, but until today I didn’t have the skills to do it. Thank you for providing me with that opportunity.”
Parents felt equally supported. One mother, speaking about the lack of support she’s received from her son’s school, commented, “Because of the information I learned in the conference, I feel totally vindicated in my understanding of his needs.”
For more information about the educational opportunities sponsored by Ohel’s Institute for Training, or other Ohel services which you can benefit from, please contact Ohel at 800-603-OHEL, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ohelfamily.org.
East Broadway residence lights up the stage. Monday, June 10 was a special night for the men of the Ohel Bais Ezra East Broadway residence. After three long months of practice and hard work, the men performed their play The Jewel Thief in front of a packed crowd at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood.
It was an evening full of laughs, surprises, and even tears of joy as these men stole the audience’s hearts and attention during their Oscar worthy performance. It was wonderful to see how the director, Giselle D’Souza, was able to bring out the talents of these truly gifted men.
The parent body in attendance was in awe of how well the men took to this new program. In a conversation after the play, one parent commented on how this program “allows our sons to express their personalities in a manner which was never possible before.”
The drama club encourages adults with intellectual and physical disabilities to experience the thrill of theater while learning skills that will help them thrive in every aspect of their lives. The East Broadway residence is excited to continue with this drama program and looks forward to their next performance, which will be this fall.
Avenue M residence hosts community appreciation day. On Monday, June 17, the residents of Ohel Bais Ezra’s Avenue M residence in Brooklyn took some time to say thank-you to all of their surrounding neighbors for being so welcoming, by hosting their annual community appreciation day barbecue. Opened in 1993, Ohel’s Avenue M residence is a home to 10 adults with developmental disabilities.
Family, friends, and neighbors were invited, and all enjoyed the delicious food set up by the men who live in the residence. In addition to the residents and their family members, there were close to 30 community families who joined for the fun. Residents and neighbors exchanged good wishes for an enjoyable summer and many look forward to once again hosting Ohel Bais Ezra individuals for Shabbos meals when the families return from spending the summer upstate.
Community and family members received tours of the residence given by Alan and others who have lived in this home for over 20 years. Neighbors and family members remain impressed with how well kept the residence is and how each resident takes pride in their private space by adorning their walls with photos of vacations as well as paintings which had been painted by residents.
One community member said, “The greatest chinuch I can give my children is living across the street from an Ohel Bais Ezra residence, and having the individuals join us for Shabbos meals. My children, my husband, and I all gain immeasurably from spending time with the cheerful residents, whether it’s sharing a joke, a dvar Torah, or just talking about current events.”
For more information about Ohel Bais Ezra and their many services which you can benefit from, or to host individuals for a Shabbos meal, please contact 800-603-OHEL or email@example.com, or visit www.ohelfamily.org. v