April 6, 2020 | News
The Residents at FREE’s Westbury House are Staying Positive, Keeping Busy and Learning Something New Every Day
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change life as we know and people have lost a sense of normalcy, the residents at a home in Westbury, operated by Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), are finding ways to put balance and routine back in their lives. The seven ladies with intellectual/development disabilities have lived together as a family for almost 30 years. They are keeping busy and safe while practicing social distancing. With the help of their dedicated Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) the ladies have found creative ways to feel independent and connected.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the “Ladies of Westbury” were actively engaged in their community with activities such a bowling, seeing a movie, working, shopping, participating in play rehearsals and attending day programs. Now because of the lack of community involvement due to COVID-19, the ladies and DSPs have taken the opportunity to create a schedule to put balance and routine back in their lives. It includes the activities being missed from the ladies daily lives.
“Our schedule has really brought the light back into our home,” said Giuseppa Bianco, Assistant Supervisor, Westbury IRA. “Every day is an exciting day where the ladies can learn new things to instill in their lives. Our staff are also learning and taking pride in how receptive they are.”
The ladies are learning different activities such as karate, baking techniques, origami, jewelry making, painting, meditation and science experiments. They even performed a play “Cinderella” and have manicure day while the nail salons are closed. It makes them feel independent and motivated to be ambitious.
“COVID-19 is absolutely serious where we must take precautions however here at our Westbury house we all have grown closer and are learning so much about each other while having fun,” said Giuseppa Bianco, Assistant Supervisor, Westbury IRA.
Here are some clips and photos of our new adventures together:
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE)
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), founded in 1977, benefits and proudly supports more than 4,000 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. It is the mission of FREE to help individuals of all abilities realize their full potential. FREE provides a diverse array of supports and services including housing; recovery services; transition to work; employment; day, community and family services; respite; crisis services; education and after school support; specialty health services; and advocacy.
The Family of FREE Network collaborates with a variety of diverse 501(c)(3) nonprofit partners on educational, vocational, rehabilitative and a myriad of other creative initiatives to enhance the local communities and the lives of more than 35,000 people that reside within them. Each of the valued partners of the FREE Network has a unique mission, vision and strategic goals that are aligned in purpose, and embody the spirit of the meaningful work we do every day. For more information, please call 516-870-1614 or visit www.familyres.org.