The Rensselaer ARC places an emphasis on providing services in integrated, small settings. Individualized person-centered planning is used to insure that each participant is involved in activities which meet their unique interests and needs. The Programs listed will provide some insight to some of the service we offer.
Brunswick Center Services (BCS) is a group-based day habilitation program that supports citizens of our community who are developmentally disabled. BCS offers both community-based and site-based supports, with a focus on advancing community membership, personal wellness, and meaningful relationships.
BCS offers specialized supports to people with intellectual challenges along with physical and/or mobility concerns and who maybe aging. Although supports are mostly provided in a group settings, the person and their interests and unique gifts are always honored.
Three Little Libraries
A local Eagle Scout, Nick Fisk has constructed three Little Libraries, all miniature replicas of local Brunswick landmarks, to put up in three locations around Brunswick.
There are nearly 40,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world. Brunswick Center will now be one of the locations. There is currently a group of volunteers from Brunswick Center that will be helping to supply and maintain the library locations.
Thank you Nick Fisk and all of those who helped in this process!!
Life Enriching Programs
The Art Project Gallery: Brunswick Center Services strives to offer new and exciting activities for the people we support. Creative art-based activities are one of the many ways we meet that goal. In 2007 BCS began hosting a visual arts class which was intentionally designed to elicit individual interest and expression in the visual arts. Throughout this class indviidual talent began to emerge promoting artistic expression that moved beyond a simple activity offered within Brunswick Center. It was the recognition of a genuine gift hidden deep within an individual.
To date, we have successfully experienced eight visual art openings, developed a line of greeting cards, and maintained a functioning gallery named "The Art Project Gallery". The walls of BCS are adorned with a rotating theme of paintings, prints, and 3-D media. The many BCS guests that visit us on a daily basis often comment on the artwork or the sense of "community" our program exudes.
The Sensory Garden: The vision of a sensory garden holding a safe and soothing space for BCS paritcipants to experience a peaceful natural setting was conceived in 2005.
Our Sensory Garden is nestled within BCS grounds and is joined by a meandering pathway through lush beds of flowers, a performance deck, and a calming waterfall. This beautiful place invites people to relax and attain a calming state- one may sit at one of the many umbrella tables or follow the pathway through vibrant hydrangeas, tulips and butterfly bushes.
In addition to the garden, we also maintain a fully functioning greenhouse as a means to harvest various types of vegetables. As community members, BCS participates annually with the Town of Brunswick NY Farmers Market. Our “Arc Market” tent highlights our organically grown veggies, floral bouquets, and fresh herbs. Our active participation with local events is just one of many ways we assist individuals to genuinely contribute to their community.
Like any garden, the Sensory Garden, is expected to evolve, grow and flourish. It continues to be a setting for new experiences – horticulture, education, and personal wellness. This garden renews and provides pleasure to the senses of all who spend time there.
A team of nurses and clinical staff are available as a resource to individuals to promote personal health and wellness. A nurse is assigned to work with health support specialists in coordinating and addressing needs in ways that promote a partnership with an individual and compliment an enriched lifestyle and encourge personal responsibility. The clinical team includes social work, speech pathology, occupational and physical therapy, nutrition, and behavioral health specialists. The efforts of this team are supported by consulting psychologists and a physician. The goal is to proactively address health needs while avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations and high cost medical interventions when not necessary.
Our Commitment to Wellness
Unlike tradtional healthcare approaches, our agency has pursued a path towards personal wellness for people we support and our workforce. The wellness program is actualized within each person's plan of services, as well as through the agency's Wellness Acadamy. The Wellness Acadamy is a year long learning experience for people we support that introduces participants to the link between personal wellness and community life. For our workforce, our Human Resource Department has established a routine calendar of wellness activities throughout the year.
Our service coordinators have a responsibility to assist people in crafting a purposeful and enriched individualized service plan. The Medicaid Services Coordinator (MSC) provides assistance in securing the services and supports needed to meet the outcomes of the plan. The MSC is often an important advocate and “path-finder” in navigating the network of community service providers and funding sources.
Our MSC’s approach this important work in partnership with the person they support and their family. This partnership is a relationship that develops over time, built on a foundation of trust and respect, and shared accountability.