As we’ve learned by living during a pandemic, the only certainty is uncertainty. So, when the COVID-19 omicron variant began to cause fear and confusion among Keshet’s adult participants, Hannah Kane, Keshet’s newest social worker, created a plan to address the latest turn of events as well as regular life stressors. At GADOL, Keshet’s adult day program, a new five-week coping skills group was made available to all team members.
With a goal of providing tools for self-regulation, the group began by sharing the skills and tools they already know and offering advice to others. Other weeks provided new strategies for coping with stress, including:
• Active and movement-based methods through Spirit Club videos, yoga and stretching exercises;
• Mindfulness techniques of deep breathing techniques, guided meditation and coloring;
• Addressing sensory needs through fidgets, aroma therapy and thermal changes; and
• Re-introducing the sensory room and chill zone.
By trying out different coping skills with the support of friends and staff, participants were able to find what might work for them. This initial coping skills group concluded with each person making a visual reminder of the new tools that they think will work for them.
Through this program, adults at GADOL are empowered to self-regulate their emotions and behavior in light of different situations. Together, they can help each other adjust to the unpredictability of daily life and the pandemic. As one participant shared, “I knew some of it before, but now there are new things we can do to get help. Staff help us too.”
Next up for GADOL… a series of workshops on self-advocacy.