Full of Life

Activities director keeps residents engaged.

For the nearly five years that Ana D’Amore has been coordinating daily activities for the residents of the Savannah Court of Orange City assisted living community, mornings have included a few moments of peaceful meditation.

Ana D’Amore is a valuable member of the Savannah Court of Orange City staff.

Ana is in her fifth year as the community’s activities director.

“The meditation period comes at the end of our morning exercise routine, which starts about ten o’clock,” Ana explains. “It starts with me asking them to put their hands on their chest and to feel the warm energy of their hands.

“I then ask them to imagine that warm energy is a bright light filled with peace and love and that it’s going through their hearts and lungs and making them feel good while filling them with peace, love and joy.”

Ana, a native of Brazil who earned a degree in psychology, spreads peace, love and joy all throughout Savannah Court, where her duties stretch far beyond the morning exercise routine she conducts five days a week.

One of the assisted living community’s most dedicated and versatile staff members, Ana also drives residents to their doctor’s appointments whenever necessary, organizes a weekly luncheon outing on Thursdays and generally pitches in and helps whenever help is needed.

“She’s very committed to the well-being of our residents, especially their emotional well-being,” states Judith Robinson, executive director of Savannah Court of Orange City, which offers assisted living, senior day care, and respite care services.

“She is an extremely valuable and cherished member of our community, which I believe is just right in terms of its size. We’re not too big, and we’re not too small. And in a community like this, someone like Ana really stands out.”

Nestled just 20 minutes between Metro Orlando and Daytona Beach, Savannah Court of Orange City provides residents with a cozy, small-town ambiance while also offering all the amenities necessary to maintain an active lifestyle.

Rewarding Work

That lifestyle is greatly enhanced by Ana’s vast array of activities. Depending on the hour of the day, she might be orchestrating a group sing-along of familiar classics, teaching a class on arts and crafts or testing residents’ knowledge of trivial history.

“One of the games we play is called You Be the Judge,” Ana relates. “We’ll tell them the story of a real-life trial from the past and what the verdict was, and the residents are asked to express their opinions on the outcome.

“Some agree, of course, and some disagree, but it gets everyone involved, and it gives them a chance to interact with each other. Activities like that are very important because it keeps everyone active and thinking.”

Ana has even gone so far as to have residents write poetry to express their feelings, and of course, she always makes time for fun and more typical games such as poker or checkers and themed nights in the Savannah Court cafeteria.

“A lot of what I do is designed to help the residents feel more connected, because we’re like a big family here,” Ana says. “That feeling of connection is important for everyone, and so we do a lot of things that get everyone involved.

“The other thing we want them to do is to be active. That’s why we have the morning exercise routine, where we always start off with a bit of stretching and then go through a few things that are not too strenuous but get their bodies moving.

“That’s another thing that is very important for our residents. It is best for residents to be as active as possible and especially with others in the community. It’s my job to help them to do that, and I love it. It’s very rewarding work.”

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