I first met Agnes Mattos over ten years ago. Her husband, a very popular school crossing guard, had suffered a stroke and had a traumatic brain injury. Her family has been working very hard to maintain a fulfilling life for him since that time.
One of the most difficult things to deal with when one suffers from a traumatic brain injury is to readjust socially. Her husband, Don, is still a very social person but given his challenges it was difficult to find a place he could fit in and feel good about himself. About four years ago she accidently learned of an amazing organization that exists in Harsdale --the St. Andrew's Day program.
St. Andrew's Day Program (101 North Central Ave, Hartsdale- tel: 914-448-5645 or www.standrewsdayprogram.org) is dedicated to providing a safe environment that encourages group participation and socialization. They offer group and individual speech activities. Members participate in moderate physical activities such as stretching, the Wii interactive computer game, dancing and similar creative exercises. There are holiday and birthday parties. Live music is offered. Arts and crafts projects and gardening are part of the fun.
The program runs on Tuesday and Thursday's from 10 am to 2 PM. The cost: $20 per day which includes snacks, fruit, juice, coffee and tea. Members who come with health aides should ask the health aides to stay. But, family members could leave -enjoy some free time for themselves. The group meets at St. Andrew's Church, -program entrance is at 104 N Washington Ave, Hartsdale).
I interviewed Agnes Mattos and another Greenburgh resident Barb Garner on my WVOX radio program this morning. They are trying to publicize the outstanding programs this non profit offer. The group will be meeting next week and then will take a break till the new year. If you know of anyone who is recovering from a stroke or who has physical challenges - check out the group!