I have always wanted a porch. A place to drink lemonade with friends and family, a place to watch the grandkids run through the sprinkler, and a place to enjoy the outdoors and work a crossword puzzle.
There are many beautiful porches around Sheridan, but I remain confused about one thing, why would a person screen in a porch? It just seems wrong. A porch should be open and inviting with the perfect comfortable (I could sit there for hours) chair. I see the screen as a barrier between you and the rest of the world. The definition of the word screen is “that which separates or cuts off, shelters or protects.” It seems that in life we all have a screen to protect ourselves for the outside. It becomes easier to sit behind the screen then to take the risk of opening the door and walking out on the sidewalk.
It is my mission to crack open the screen door and encourage people to get out into the community and among others. Having that positive social support can add to the mental and physical wellness of all individuals. I work at the Senior Center in the Day Break Elder Care program; we specialize in socialization and recreation. We provide the place for elders to relax and just be themselves. Day Break is for people of all abilities. We customize activities to the interests of those attending. We are always looking for original ways to get people involved and engaged in meaningful activities that enhance a person’s dignity and self-esteem by providing a purpose. If you walked into Day Break right now, you might find a group participating in a game of Wii bowling, indoor horseshoes or conferring over an answer to a trivia question. You may also find individuals helping the home delivered meals program by putting stickers on the trays or folding mailings that go out with the meals. These are all people who were once strangers that had to open the screen door in search of their niche at the Senior Center.
I would be remiss not to mention that Day Break also provides needed personal care and assistance with activities of daily living for adults with limited medical needs. We have a handicap walk-in shower and a hydrotherapy bathtub for those who cannot safely bathe at home. A nurse’s aide is on staff to assist with bathing and individual care.
Day Break helps not only the person receiving services but also those providing care at home. There are many family caregivers in our community that care for a family member or friend. Caregiving can be a full time job that requires time and energy. Day Break helps relieve that stress and worry. Day Break has been helping elders in Sheridan remain in their homes and providing a needed break for caregivers for 20 years.
So come on, open that screen door, walk out and get your hands dirty, your pants muddy, and enjoy life. Day Break can provide that human contact for those that spend most of their time alone. The caring companionship dispensed at Day Break can be the antidote to loneliness. Let’s share the good things in life. Come and join us on our porch — it is not screened in!
Columnist Barb Blue is the director of Day Break Services at the Sheridan Senior Center. For information on the Day Break program for adults, contact Barb at 672-2240.“Center Stage is written by friends of the Senior Center for the Sheridan Community. It is a collection of insights and stories related to living well at every age.”