A sunny afternoon sets in and a group of creative minds convenes in the meditation room at the Suncoast PACE day center. The participants jump in talking and developing their island murder mystery. It’s a joint writing project that transpired from participant AnneGale Nester’s novel.
“It has taken off like crazy. They all gave me ideas and I asked them each to write portions about the characters. It’s set on Emerald Island in the Northeast, where there’s a legend of pirates’ buried emeralds. We have Frank, the detective, and bodies that are found face down in the water. There’s a warning to get off the island or there’ll be more bodies. We’re making a fantastic story,” Nester shares.
Nester, who’s a published author, reads aloud from recent chapters that she has pieced together and edited. She notes interesting details, like the Emerald Island Inn, an antique grandfather clock and the brown bread, which she used to eat with Boston baked beans and boiled hot dogs as a child. She dives further into thrilling scenes, like a man’s death off of a tower during a Nor’easter storm and a woman’s encounter with a strange man in the woods. Other group members chime in with their thoughts and ideas.
The story group is one of many activities that keeps our participants active, expressive and social at Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a member of Empath Health. Our interdisciplinary team helps them manage their chronic illnesses and connect with each other, in order to maintain a healthy, happy well-being and remain living in their own homes. We provide recreational, fitness and special occasion activities; nutritious meals; comprehensive medical care and therapies; transportation to and from the day center and medical appointments; and in-home assistance from staff and trained volunteers.
Participant Joan Kelly is enthusiastic about the group’s ongoing work. “We all have different styles of writing and Anne has to blend it all together. We thought writing was going to be very difficult, but she said the story would come together and write itself. It’s going to be a mini-series,” Kelly says.
Everyone regularly returns to the meetings eager to contribute and hear more of the story. “I’m so excited and proud about our collaboration. We have a storyboard with pictures of all the characters. This process will be going on for months. I’ve taken license to hold everyone in suspense about the murderer until the end,” Nester says.
Is your loved one in need of social and medical support? Find out more about our PACE program on our website or give us a call at (727) 289-0062.