LIFE SKILLS

The Life Skills Programme is managed by a full time Occupational Therapist.  The programme is designed for individuals of any age and ability who are able to work at various levels of independence on site at WindReach. The Life Skills OT will work closely with the participant’s support staff (special education teachers, paras, aides, social workers, OTs etc) to ensure that individuals continue to achieve personal goals and develop their levels of independence as outlined in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or Care/Discharge Plans.

Under the supervision of our Life Skills OT, individuals with special needs practice valuable skills needed for everyday life; the skills that we often take for granted. Research based evidence and the resources available on the WindReach property are used to engage our participants in meaningful and goal oriented activities. We work with a broad range of needs and abilities and develop goals based on their unique interests. Our primary aim is to engage our participants in WindReach’s vibrant community and assist them with functional life skills that will promote engagement in the larger community here on island. We have a range of activities and resources on the property such as our community gardens, petting zookitchens and stables.

Participants in this programme may come to WindReach as a group or as an individual. We do require all participants to attend with their support worker(s)

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING
IN THE LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMME?

 

School Age Outcomes:

  • Challenge touch, auditory, visual and smell defensiveness in a motivating environment without overloading
  • Improved concentration and time on task
  • Improved social and communication skills
  • Development of gross and fine motor skills

Young Adult Outcomes:

  • Improved time management and decision making
  • Improved emotional regulation, social skills and self-esteem
  • Work related skills

Adults and Seniors Outcomes:

  • Improved physical fitness
  • Increased meaningful engagement with peers
  • Improved gross and fine motor skills

 

If you are interested in participating in our Life Skills Programme, please contact Alyssa Frick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 238 2469.

 


 

Therapeutic Riding Programme

Therapeutic Riding offers individualised riding lessons that improve the physical strength, balance and coordination as well as the attention span, concentration and self esteem of people with special needs.  A disability does not limit an individual from riding a horse; in fact it can provide enormous therapeutic benefits.  Specially trained volunteers (link) and our qualified riding instructors ensure each rider is safe at all times and that the lesson is appropriately planned according to their abilities.

A typical therapeutic riding lesson is 30 minutes and can be provided in a group setting or privately, depending on the needs of the rider and availability of horses.  Each lesson consists of warm up exercises followed by developing specific riding skills.  The instructor will also use equitation exercises to practice targeted learning goals.

 

WHY HORSES?

The  horses  at  WindReach  are  an  integral  part  of  the  Therapeutic  Riding Programme.  A well-trained therapy horse moves in a rhythmic, symmetrical and organised way. Each step the horse takes provides strong sensory and physical input in many dimensions including up and down; side to side; and back and forth. By asking for variations in these movements the instructor gains results that cannot be achieved by a machine or duplicated in a clinical setting.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAMME:

 The physical benefits include: improved balance, strengthened muscles, improved coordination and motor planning. It also stretches tight/spastic muscles, increases joint range of motion, respiration and circulation, as well as sensory integration.

Therapeutic riding also improves: self confidence, increased interest in the outside world and increased risk taking abilities. In addition, it develops skills of patience, emotional control and self discipline; enhances friendships, communication and enjoyment and develops respect and affection for animals.

The educational benefits include: improved remedial reading and math, sequencing, patterning and motor planning, improved hand/eye coordination, improved visual and spacial perception, increased attention span and concentration, as well as improved verbal skills.

Our instructors, facilities and programme are internationally accredited by CanTRA – the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association.

 

If you are interested in participating in our Therapeutic Riding Programme please contact Samantha Talbot at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 238 7433.

 


 

Adaptive Sports

Adaptive sports provide recreational and competitive sports opportunities to individuals with any type of disability (such as a spinal cord injury, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, dementia, mental health conditions and traumatic brain injury).  Therapeutic recreation is a purposeful intervention that uses activity to bring about health restoration and has the potential to enhance health or produce high-level wellness.

Health promotion activities are critical for people with disabilities who may not be able to easily access sporting opportunities and may have more of a chance for under, over, or misuse of various muscle groups. As with all children and youth, being active is an important part of becoming and staying healthy. Those who feel “different” may struggle with self-esteem and confidence issues, so focusing on abilities rather than limitations can help them to feel better about themselves.

 

WHAT ARE ADAPTIVE SPORTS?

Sports played by people with both physical and intellectual disabilities. Sports may be modified to meet the need of the individual and some sports have been specifically created for people with disabilities. It offers a unique opportunity for people with similar abilities to come together and participate in fun and competitive activities. Sports can be played recreationally or can also be played at a competitive level.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ADAPTIVE SPORTS?

Physical Improvements - Individuals with cognitive disabilities sometimes have physical impairments as well. There may be substantial challenges with motor skills in areas such as hopping, skipping, and jumping. Involvement in sports can help individuals develop fundamental motor and physical fitness skills.

Self-Esteem - Developing a sense of self-esteem and confidence is an extremely important part of special education. Being part of a team and contributing successfully to a group offers physical and social benefits. Abilities in all other skill areas will improve as a result of a positive self-image and confidence.

Cognitive Benefits - The hands-on aspect of sports leads to cognitive skill improvement in people with disabilities and allows them to discover and access strengths that cannot be challenged in other settings. The inherent structure of sport, with its organization and rules, can be used as a learning tool for introducing and practicing self-regulation and decision making skills. Additionally, individuals can learn verbal communication and interaction with peers through involvement in sport.

As with anyone, sport provides tremendous benefits for those with special needs; it can help control obesity, promote activeness, increase a self-image and social skills, and increase motivation. Physical activities are an effective means for preventing a decline in physical, cognitive, psychosocial functioning and to relieve stress and reduce depression. Regular exercise increases quality of life.

 

If you are interested in participating in our Adaptive Sports Programme, please contact Cal Blankendal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 238 2469.

 


 

Seniors’ Programme

The Seniors’ Programme provides purposeful and meaningful activities to enrich the lives of Bermuda’s aging population. The four-acre WindReach facility (link) gives us the unique advantage of providing a variety of diverse activities for seniors which are both indoors and outdoors. Activities include: drumming and music enrichment, arts and crafts, animal interaction, gardening (link), visits to our sensory room, regular social gatherings and adaptive sports

An additional component of our Seniors’ Programme is specific to individuals living with dementia. With Montessori techniques implemented we provide all the same activities as above, on a smaller scale. Our dementia specific activities offer a calm and peaceful atmosphere that enables individuals to experience moments of fun and joy, a connection with others and a sense of belonging and purpose. The caregivers who accompany the participants are equally engaged in the activities resulting in a new community of people who face the same daily challenges, overcoming what can otherwise be an isolating, wearing and frustrating time.

Each area fills a much needed gap in the community by creating a nurturing environment for both seniors and those living with dementia.  

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING
IN THE SENIORS’ PROGRAMME?

We know that our aging population, along with those living with dementia, can lead a more and more isolated lifestyle.  Taking part in meaningful activity can give an individual a sense of purpose, provide them with a change in environment and routine, improve their mental state and increase their health and wellbeing.  These therapeutic activities have also been proven to assist with providing non-pharmacological interventions that can be used for helping caregivers and families cope with changes in mood and behavior such as heightened anxiety, aggression, depression and lethargy.

We welcome individuals of all abilities and seek to provide a supportive and understanding setting which takes into account the different stages of aging or dementia that a person may be living with.  We know that each day can be varied and as such our programme is based on a drop-in structure providing the caregivers with flexibility in commitment.

For the schedule of activities for the Seniors’ Programme please click here

 

If you are interested in participating in this programme please contact Paige Eversley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 238 2469.