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Simple morning routines: Counting our blessings

  • MichaelSieff
Think for a moment about your early-morning routine. What happens when you wake up and prepare to start your day? You may dash to the shower, hurriedly brush your teeth, comb your hair and get dressed.
by MICHAEL SIEFF | Feb 10, 2016

Some people put on makeup and some even eat breakfast before they leave home. It’s safe to say most of us have at least one cup of coffee to fortify ourselves for the day ahead. But for all of us preparing to leave the house is generally a rushed, very routine affair.

For the 120 residents at the Selwyn Segal Centre it is not. In fact, each deliberate step of the way, each day of the week, is a learning experience.  

Residents are housed together in small units and grouped according to gender, age, level of functionality and behavioural needs. There are nine such units at Selwyn Segal - four male and five female - each named after a city or area in Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, etc. 

The family-focused atmosphere in the units is designed to mimic life in a normal home and is where residents live, eat, sleep and learn personal grooming and life and social skills under the supervision of care workers.  The day programme begins with teaching toilet routines, how to brush their teeth, bathe, dress, make their beds and set the table for breakfast.

The results of this programme have been very encouraging in promoting independence and good habits. The repetition is beneficial against regression as residents age. A vase of fresh flowers on the dining room table communicates their sense of pride in “home and family”.

After grooming and breakfast, residents leave their units. Those able to attend protected employment activities at Kadimah, The Junction, or the Selwyn Segal workshop, either walk up there or take the bus to Kadimah. They are given packed lunches and snacks and return to Selwyn Segal in time for afternoon tea.

With or without protected employment opportunities, the programme is a full one with daily religious, exercise, stimulation and recreational programmes. There is much to learn and enjoy: current affairs, Jewish festivals, general knowledge, movies, sports, outings, music, swimming and preparation for Shabbos on Fridays.

So, when I’m running late and rushing to get ready to leave home, I take a second to appreciate that the routine comes naturally and easily to me. Let’s count our blessings and take nothing for granted. 

May our partnership continue to thrive. Feedback@jhbchev.co.za

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