Nysha Recent News

Person-centered Summer Up Front and Center at Hamaspik’s Fosse Shvesterheim

November 8, 2016

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Rockland County Women’s Group Home Typifies New Push for Individual Choice

Ask anyone in the disability services—or “supports,” as it’s increasingly called today—industry, and they’ll tell you: Focusing, or refocusing, on the personal choices of each individual served—make that “supported”—is the top driving trend today.

All across New York State, non-profits like Hamaspik that are affiliated with the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) are training and retraining, staff to change how they treat people with disabilities—and how they relate to them and to the entire concept of disability in the first place.

This new “person-centered” approach, the subject of several in-house trainings at Hamaspik over the past two years, was on full display this past summer season at the Fosse Shvesterheim.

Staff at the Hamaspik of Rockland County Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) saw to it all summer long that the women they support enjoyed the activities of their choice.

For several, that meant summer vacations.

Speaking to a Fosse Direct Support Professional (DSP) by phone on Friday, Oct. 7, the Gazette learned that one resident rented a private house for two day in upstate Lakewood, New York, not too far from the popular shores of Lake George.  Another two enjoyed a rural respite at the Raleigh Hotel, as they did last year, too.  A third resident, asked how she’d like to cap her summer, opted for the following run on local goods and services: a pizza breakfast, a hairdo, shopping for a bit of new jewelry, a pizza lunch, more jewelry shopping, and then dinner.

And a fourth resident, reports the DSP, opted for the non-action action many of us prefer come summer vacation time: She simply wanted to do nothing.

Ms. Breindy Hershkowitz, however, marked summer 2016 with the fifth pilgrimage of her life to the Holy Land.

Visiting Ms. Hershkowitz at her Fosse Shvesterheim residence the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 10, the Gazette caught up with the popular author and inspirational speaker, who regularly rallies young women of her age to make the most of their lives, as she likewise does.

Ms. Hershowitz reported that, in course of her trip to visit a friend in that overseas region, she also paid her respected at the resting places of several late spiritual leaders of generations bygone.

“I really did what I do best!” on her trip, she affably declared.  Which was?  “Davening!” [Praying—ed.]

And that’s a personal choice few can argue with.