Seniors Connect at Holy Trinity
At 87 years old, her mind was sharp as a tack but she had suffered a stroke which took a toll on her physically. She had to give up her independence – and her bowling league - and now had to rely on others to go anywhere.
Although her daughter Andrea stops in regularly, most of Betty’s days were spent at home alone and she said “I was feeling bored and useless”. Andrea worried that her mother’s bright mind was not being challenged.
Then, one day in May, SPARK (Senior Program of Activities, Refreshments, and Knowledge) opened its doors at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Valley Stream. Parishioners of Holy Trinity saw there were many people like Betty in their community who were feeling isolated, so they responded by developing this ministry to help foster social connections.
Betty was thrilled to have a place to go and meet new friends.
Her daughter Andrea said “She instantly became the group’s comedian. They always ask her for a joke before they can leave.”
SPARK is open every Wednesday and the program director, Ann Seligson, arranges for different activities each week – a painting class, board games, a book club, yoga, even Zumba. “Everyone participates as best they can,” Ann explains, “There’s something for everyone.”
Students from the adjacent nursery school have also come to perform for the group. They were there on Betty’s birthday, and their rendition of “Happy Birthday” lit up the room.
This group has Betty learning new things and sharing her warmth and her wit. She looks forward to it and grateful to have a “SPARK” in her week every Wednesday.View Photos