If you’ve been following the Adira Facebook page recently, you’ve seen photos and videos from any number of activities and events that we provide for our residents and patients. Whether it’s a monthly birthday celebration, morning coffee talk, Zumba or a holiday party, we are never lacking for fun at Adira.

All that fun, however, doesn’t simply appear. Not by a long shot. The vibrant activity calendar, which enriches the lives of our residents and patients, is lovingly crafted by our new Director of Activities, Helen O’Brien.

For Helen, working with seniors has been a lifelong passion.

While growing up in the Bronx, she would spend countless summer evenings sitting outside and listening to the seniors tell stories about when the Grand Concourse was all farmland or their experiences performing in Vaudeville. Her first recreation job was at 17 years old at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale.

Helen was inspired to pursue this career path by the seniors themselves and it was their willingness to share their history which sparked her passion. “There is always something new to discover in those experiences. They are genuine…they don’t pretend to be something they are not. Most of all, they appreciate the little things.”

When I asked Helen if she had a favorite event or activity she found it difficult to pick only one. “I always enjoy reminiscing but I think staying focused on the present is really what counts. I enjoy seeing the residents enjoying themselves at parties, dancing, singing and having cake or showing me artwork they have created.”

Since Helen’s arrival at Adira last month, we’ve seen an increase in the different types of activities that are offered. She works diligently to provide a diverse array of community based programs that engage the residents and patients.

Welcome to the Adira family, Helen. We can’t wait to see what unique events you come up with next.