Edmeston, NY, October 5, 2023 … The Kennedy Willis Center on Down Syndrome at Pathfinder Village is hosting a four-part Lunch and Learn webinar series this autumn, Nurturing Your Best Self through Music, Art, Movement & Mindfulness. The noontime series will share useful strategies for families and direct support staff who care for older adults with Down syndrome, dementia, and other disabilities.
The series is part of the Center’s and Pathfinder Village’s observance of October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. October was first designated as a national observance by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and has been recognized every year since. The month is focused on celebrating the abilities and accomplishments of people with Trisomy 21.
Series registration is $30 per attendee; online information and a registration link are at kwcdownsyndrome.org. The series will be facilitated by E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA of Jefferson Elder Care, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, and Brittany Goodrich, Director of the Kennedy Willis Center, the research and advocacy arm of Pathfinder Village. For over four years, Jefferson Elder Care and the Kennedy Willis Center have collaborated on creating staff training modules, online content, and outreach programs to present best practices in aging for older adults with Down syndrome.
“People with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before, and the changes associated with aging may affect a person’s participation in activities that are important to them,” said Dr. Herge. “The cognitive and physical changes with aging and the onset of dementia make it particularly challenging for individuals to stay active and engaged.”
“Our noontime Lunch and Learn webinar series will explore the relationship of participating in meaningful activities with health and well-being,” added Director Goodrich. “Our knowledgeable presenters will discuss ways you may use music, art, movement and mindfulness to help the people you support stay active, involved in activities, and experience joy.”
The sessions will be on Wednesdays at 12 p.m. and will feature:
Oct. 25 Your Creative Self: The Value of Art, even if You're Not Artistic: Anne Dudley-Smith is the Gallery Director for The Arc Otsego's Main View Gallery, a studio that celebrates the creative powers and insights of individuals with intellectual disabilities. She will discuss how to structure art activities for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and how to involve people in creative processes to achieve wellness goals.
Nov. 1 Fun Fitness Ideas for All Ages & Abilities: Zoe Curtis is an experienced group fitness instructor who specializes in POUND workouts, ZUMBA, and other health movement formats. She has coached for over 12 years in ways that allow people to enjoy movement, make exercise fun, and build their self-confidence while providing an inclusive atmosphere for people of all ages and abilities. She has led in-person and online classes for gyms, private groups, centers for people with disabilities, senior living communities, and substance addiction recovery centers.
Nov. 8 Discover Your Musical Joy: How Music Can Heal Us: Join acclaimed sound healer Jimbo Talbot in this session focused on facilitating transformative music and sound programs to promote health and wellness for people with disabilities. The founder of DrumQuest, Mr. Talbot has led drum circles at Pathfinder Village for over 10 years and offers a variety of programs to meet audience needs. He is a trained Remo Health Rhythms® facilitator, Village Music Circles® Global Drum Facilitator, a graduate of Music For People®, and a graduate of Ithaca College of Music.
Nov. 15 Being Mindful, Positive & Connected: The final webinar is a panel discussion by spiritual providers who have extensively worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities who are seeking advice on life's big issues such as loss, faith, and other topics. Our panel includes the Rev. Douglas Burleigh, Fly Creek, the chaplain at Pathfinder Village and Community Hospice of Albany; and Sr. Mary Veasy and Sr. Susan Lindinger, who provide pastoral care and counseling at Divine Providence Village, Springfield, Pa., a residential community that serves adult women with disabilities and dementia.
To learn more about the Kennedy Willis Center and its outreach initiatives, visit kwcdownsyndrome.org or https://pathfindervillage.org/innovation-kwc. The Center was established in 1996 with a three-fold mission: to provide education opportunities for families and the community at large regarding best practices in developmental disabilities, to serve as an information and life planning resource, and to host and support studies by accredited research organizations related to Down syndrome and related disabilities.