On Thursday, July 27th, Tivity Health’s Project and Implementation Management (PIM) Team volunteered at FSL’s “Christmas in July” event at their Adult Day Health Services center in Tempe, AZ (one of three valley locations). For those that aren’t familiar with the center, it’s truly an exceptional program. Adult Day Health Services is “for adults who will benefit from meaningful activities, socialization and assistance during the day” (source: www.fsl.org). Adults of all ages can attend and participate in activities designed to care for their medical, social, and recreational needs. FSL staff create an agenda of activities each day ranging from learning and crafts to music and snacks, so the adults have a wide range of choices throughout the day, all while being in a safe environment.
The PIM Team facilitated a Christmas cookie making and decorating activity, and the participants loved it! Since the adults get to choose what activities they want to participate in, there were five who came to the cookie making group. In this group, a few of the PIM Team members led the adults through making a sugar free sugar cookie recipe (sugar free was a required option due to dietary restrictions). They asked for volunteers in adding each of the ingredients and hands went up! One lady beat the butter, one gentleman added and mixed the “sugar” (aka Stevia) into the butter, another man added the flour, and another lady added the baking soda (which was extremely inspiring as she was blind, but she didn’t let that hinder her participation). The enthusiasm from the participants was so joyful as they carefully added and stirred the ingredients and giggled along the way.
After the dough was made and refrigerated for later use, the FSL staff put together tables for the roughly 25 older adults who wanted to participate in the decorating (and eating!) of the cookies. Since the PIM Team had prebaked the sugar and sugar free cookies, they were passed out on plates, along with icing (sugar free jam for those with dietary restrictions) and chocolate chips so they could begin decorating. With Christmas music playing in the background and the PIM Team assisting with the sprinkles, the adults got busy on creating their cookie masterpieces. Once done decorating, they finished the activity with promptly eating them as their afternoon snack. With smiles and satisfied tummies, the adults were on to their next activity, music therapy, led by the Recreation Director, Richard.
Of course, we can’t comment about FSL without mentioning the staff. These angels tend to every need of every person they care for each day. Their spirits are truly that of a giving kind.
The PIM Team found this to be such a heartwarming experience to work with these older adults that find joy in the smallest things. It’s a great reminder to stop and “smell the cookies” every once in a while.