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SATIATINGLY SOCIAL AND CREATIVE

Hamaspik of Orange County’s Shnois Chaim Dining/Social Day Program Continues Stimulating Community Seniors

July 29, '15

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

On Sunday, July 5, the usual crowd gathered in the Hamaspik Terrace social hall at 1 Hamaspik Way, the site of Hamaspik of Orange County’s Admin/Day Hab Building at the gateway to Kiryas Joel, New York.

The building is situated at the entrance to the community— a fact symbolic of the fact that Hamaspik serves as an entryway to numerous programs, supports and services for people with special needs throughout the greater community.

Exemplifying one of those services is the program at hand, another “edition” of Shnois Chaim (“Living Years”), Hamaspik of Orange County’s popular and growing congregate senior dining program/social day program.

Coupled with the program’s central daily meal, made fresh each day on the premises, is a bevy of social day programs that enhance the participating seniors’ daily experiences.

These include inspirational talks, exercise sessions, live musical performances, and hands-on arts-and-crafts activities—such as the ones unfolding today.

Visiting the program all the way from further downstate Monsey is Mrs. Leah Halperin, proprietor of the Hobby House crafts retailer and a knowledgeable crafts counselor of sorts in her own right.

Today, Mrs. Halperin is on site to lead the seniors in working with their own two hands, and quite literally— using molds, wet (and quick-drying) plaster and then, palettes of paints with which to daub them with bright and lively colors.

Now wearing protective smocks as they line a long activity table, the young-at-heart seniors spend a good hour or more working their fingers and they work the plaster into the molds. Mrs. Halperin (and the entire Shnois Chaim staff) hover about to help.

A short while later, the seniors are wielding paint brushes as they turn plaster-white bunches of grapes, fruit clusters or even sailboats into wall-mountable works of art brimming with color.

The seniors arrived that morning as respected senior community members. But they went home that afternoon not just as venerated elders, but as budding artists, too.