The residents have had lots of time to spend outdoors (until the recent cold weather).   The staff would try and do as many outdoor activities with the residents (in their cohorts) as possible. Music sessions and art sessions were held outdoors.   The residents also have been going on outdoor walks with staff just to enjoy the fresh air. McAuley has a patio and courtyards so there is plenty of space to hold outdoor activities and to get some sunshine.

We also continued the sensory garden this spring and summer. The residents enjoy the different textures of the plants and the various scents throughout the garden.   They enjoy caring for it and assisting with the planting and watering of the plants. The garden also has an outdoor fountain and there are wind chimes hanging from the trees.   It is a nice and relaxing space for the residents to enjoy.

Our in house DT program has been involved in many different projects over the past few months. One thing they always enjoy working on is decorations for the building to celebrate the seasons. Attached is a photo of a fall art project that one DT instructor is currently working on with the residents.   The Starbucks coffee cups and they will hang from the ceiling throughout the building once all the cups are finished. The residents enjoy incorporating their photo on all of their art projects too.

McAuley getting Wi-Fi couldn’t have come at a better time. Our residents have really benefited from it.    Residents are able to communicate with their families through face time.   The residents are also able to attend zoom activity sessions with other residents on campus. It is nice to see the residents light up when they see or hear their family member over face time.

The residents are all involved in their normal programming whether it is school or DT.   The only thing that may not be normal is the location of the programming.   Our residents who normally attend out to school in Chicago public schools or suburban schools are now doing remote learning here.   The schedule is set up that with a staff that will assist each resident individually with their online classes.  

Our regular in house school and DT program is running as usual with the residents attending class in their cohorts. Our residents who attend CDS are also involved in programming at McAuley because we are lucky enough to have the CDS staff in our building M-F running classes like they would if they were at Conway.   We really have great staff that has been able to manage and organize everything to ensure each resident is following a programming schedule.

Our staff has remained so positive and upbeat during the past several months and in doing that you can tell that the residents benefit from that. All residents and staff have been getting through this together and are doing very well.

The McAuley staff have also benefited from the WIFI. We have trainings that continue online which otherwise would have had to occur in person. So, we have been able to have refreshers, new trainings, etc., online. It is nice to have the ability to continue those to ensure we are staying up to date on new information and trainings.  

We also participate in Spirit weeks that happen every so often. Each day is a different theme of dress for that day. The spirit weeks keep everyone smiling at McAuley.   It’s something different and fun to do.

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