Senior Independence: Building Community through Arts & Recreation
St. Paul’s Senior Services has a track record of being a leader in senior care and St. Paul’s PACE embodies that essence “to a T”. As an all-inclusive managed care model, St. Paul’s PACE provides the tools necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but more importantly than that, they do so with true compassion.
If you are anything like me, you’ll know how hard it is to make and keep friends as we age. Now, imagine how much harder it is for individuals with limited or non-existent social support. Our seniors in supportive housing are just like that. Coming from a background of shelter living or homelessness, they can feel very isolated as they readjust to living in a community again. Being part of the St. Paul’s PACE program has opened up opportunities for them to form bonds with their peers, and encourage building relationships with their neighbors. At our St. Paul’s PACE Day Center and our supportive housing communities, we offer seniors access to activities and experiences they might not otherwise have. Through our recreation teams, we organize various events such as shopping outings, social gatherings, and personal one-on-one attention, allowing seniors to explore their interests and enhance their personal growth. These opportunities serve as outlets that promote their wellbeing, while also allowing them to connect with others and develop meaningful relationships based on their unique personalities.
As part of the supportive housing recreation team, we love promoting community building through art. Creating projects where seniors make an idea a reality; be it putting together a community quilt, making a museum-worthy “Beaded-Curtain-Masterpiece,” or completing artwork through guided painting classes, our participants enjoy their creations. We have even inspired some phenomenal creations from our participants that display gratitude for the services we offer at PACE. The result is always satisfying to witness and even more satisfying to be part of.
Having the opportunity to work in such an impactful and meaningful role as a Recreation Coordinator for our supportive housing communities, I have gathered knowledge and experience working with this very special senior population that makes so much of PACE possible, and for that, I will always be grateful. At our workplace, every member of the staff is encouraged to excel, and we strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Under the leadership of our new CEO, we have implemented better pay rates, enhanced paid time off packages, and a more generous holiday schedule, which has positively impacted both our professional and personal lives. If money were no issue, I would willingly continue to do my job for no compensation, but alas, that is not the reality we live in. Even so, as things are, my reality of working with the people I do, and for the people I serve, I consider myself rich beyond compare.
Thank you St. Paul’s PACE, and Thank you St. Paul’s Senior Services!
About the Author: Nancy Aceves
Nancy Aceves is a Recreation Coordinator for Supportive Housing at St. Paul’s PACE. She has been with St. Paul’s for over five years and enjoys spending time with older adults and enhancing their quality of life through programming.
Last updated on April 25th, 2023 at 11:45 am - St. Paul’s PACE website H5629 2102 - Approved on 3/23/2021