Family members and friends of consumers served by LifeWorks, along with the community got a chance to get a look at the organization's facility and new and improved day services center during an open house Monday afternoon.
Formerly the day habilitation program, the once half-day program providing participants with activities, outings and life skills, became a full-day program Oct. 1 and is now known as the Connections Program.
"We used to have two half-day programs in the morning and afternoon where we repeated the activities," said Teresa Naughton, executive director of LifeWorks Community Services. "We were really starting to see a demand for these activities and we needed to meet that demand."
The new program meets Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and includes new activities such as Special Olympics teams, basketball and air hockey.
Program participants also go on many outings into the community, and prepare their own meals at least twice a week.
"We work on cooking twice a week," said Kathy Zimmerman, a day activities aide at LifeWorks. "There's a lot of activities. They've been visiting the apple orchard, mall walking, just getting out into the community."
Zimmerman said some participants spend the entire day at Connections while others come and go.
"Some spend just a morning or afternoon, but a lot of them will spend their whole day with us," she said. "It's really an awesome program."
Close to 50 individuals participate in the Connections Program throughout the week, Naughton said.
Bettie Gormally's daughter, Mary Gormally, is one of the Connections participants. Gormally said her daughter had benefited from LifeWorks programs in various capacities for many years. Gormally and her son Jim Gormally, stopped by the open house to visit their daughter and sister and see the new and improved program and facility.
"Mary's been getting services here for many years," Bettie Gormally said. "She's been with them for more than 30 years now."
"It's a wonderful program," said Joan Lara, Webster County case management supervisor. "All of the people we refer love it and are very happy with it."