I am deeply grateful for Gatherings, which my spouse, Paul, participates in three times a week. Gatherings provides structure to Paul’s day, as well as social, emotional and intellectual engagement. It is so good to hear Paul laughing, clapping and singing during
I’ll Gatherings sessions. Susan and Mary Ellen are truly special in their ability to recognize the uniqueness of each individual in the group, and to form a warm and caring community among the group participants. Mary Ellen and Susan work hard to create a variety of program activities, including regularly celebrating the birthdays, places of birth, special interests and professions of the program participants. They also engage the spouses and caretakers, so that we all are a part of the community of caring and mutual support that is Gatherings. -Eileen Bannon
I think the program has been an enormous success for Liz. I’ve noticed an improvement in her communication skills, and so have others. But more importantly, you both have enriched her life more than you probably know. I always park myself nearby in the event of “technical issues,” so I hear the laughter, and the music, and the other members of the group, telling their stories and making their comments. Liz feels so at home home with everyone now! She laughs a lot!
I think one of the reasons that this has been so much fun and so successful is that you have devised a format that provides the group with consistency, and at the same time an amazing amount of variety. I admire you for thinking up all the things that go into each session: the music, the games, the conversations, the exercises, the observances of holidays and birthdays, discussions of current events……..all of it!
I credit our son with discovering Gatherings, and I’m so glad he did! It’s been a wonderful thing for Liz, and she’s so lucky to be among such kind, thoughtful, and smart kindred spirits.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! - Henry Baker
Mary Ellen and Susan have created a thoughtful, meaningful and personalized program for memory-impaired individuals. Mom attends these Zoom events twice weekly and is engaged and energized by the word games, movement activities, music, art and discussion. Much of the program is interactive and these two-hour sessions are stimulating and nurturing for both the participants and their caregivers. -Judy E.
Was anything good for me in 2020? Yes, GATHERINGS!!
When we all began our new life with covid fears, so much of our routine had to change, not least of which for me was the care of my husband who has Lewy Body Dementia. He had been attending a program twice a week called BEGINNINGS. This ultimately evolved into a virtual program named GATHERINGS developed by two wonderful women who had been trained at Beginnings. Moving from meeting in one room with shared activities and close communications into the "zoom" environment took skill and talent. The program has allowed for continued socialization for my husband and great comfort for me in knowing that he is being provided with the stimulation and involvement that is highly recommended for people with all types of dementia.
I strongly recommend this program and feel that it has great potential to serve this community even post-covid.
Dear Susan and Mary Ellen
I can’t thank you enough for Paul’s birthday celebration. It was so thoughtfully and creatively put together. In general, virtual Gatherings makes all the difference for Paul — giving him a community and ability to engage.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing all you do to make Paul happy.
Dear Mary Ellen and Susan
Thank you so much for the lovely birthday celebration for Bob. You both really put a lot of effort into organizing a very personal event and he really was quite pleased. Sorry I may have grabbed more time than you expected and you had more prepared.
I hope you know that you've made life so much more livable during covid than it might have been for us.