Three days a week, a group of local seniors from the community and from long-term care enjoy warm company, games and exercises at the Adult Day Program in the Houston Health Centre.
Subsidized by Northern Health, the Adult Day Program costs $5 per day, or $7 if they need to be picked up, and runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday every week, 10:30 to 2:30, giving breaks for family care givers and assisting seniors to live safely at home, said Program Coordinator Valarie Smith.
“We follow through what has been set out by a physical health team,” said Smith, adding that the team includes case managers, doctors, nurses and physiotherapists and sometimes home care.
Smith says the program includes a physiotherapist-approved exercise program for mobility and strengthening, and games for hand-eye coordination and memory, such as a beanbag imitation game where one client does a beanbag routine and then they go around a circle and each person copies the routine.
It’s all done in a fun and positive way, so that even when someone can’t do the activity or remember a routine, the staff make them feel worthy and commend the good effort, Smith added.
Besides doing exercise, the group, currently six people from the community and a few from long-term care, has lunch together, suited to individual dietary needs, and they play games like cards or darts; they also have parties on holidays and birthdays and occasionally go on outings or have singers or children in to do a play, Smith said.
“For me, it’s a day where I can be around other people and see friendly faces,” said 74 year old participant Marie Rieder, adding that it’s especially nice living so far from her four children who are in southern B.C., Ontario and Switzerland.
“We come in here and everybody is really friendly and smiling. It feels really like a home,” she said.
When asked what her favourite part of the program is, Rieder paused for a moment.
“Playing darts, playing bingo, everything. I like everything,” she said.
And Rieder is not alone in her enjoyment and appreciation for the program.
Kathy Knight, the program activity worker, said her job is to make fun time and she has a lot of fun doing it.
“It’s fun for me and I get to meet amazing people,” she said.
“The people are so lovely and they’re all from the pioneer kind of time so they’re hard working, they don’t expect anything. They’re kind, they’re generous, you learn so much from them and they’re just so giving,” she said.
The group loves to have people come in and sing or do a skit, said Smith.
Anyone interested can contact Valarie Smith at 250-876-4515.