Recent History – 2004
March 19, 2004, By Jamie Dirom, Daily News Staff
The Northern Health Authority’s Adult Day Away program celebrated its first anniversary Thursday. From humble beginnings last year- the program started with a single member – the program has grown to 24 seniors and there’s now a waiting list. The program gives local seniors who live on their own or with family members an opportunity to get out and enjoy activities with other seniors.
“It’s for seniors who don’t get out as much as they used to and some who have health concerns,” said Sandy Simon, a licensed practical nurse who is the program’s co-ordinator. She added that it also can gives families a break too.
“A lot of people look after their family members at home, and it’s a seven day a week job.”
The program wasn’t an instant success, growing slowly to start – traditional advertising was little help, while word-of-mouth proved to be a better form of promotion.
“It took some time – it’s just been the last three months that we’ve been running really well,” Simon said.
The seniors involved in the program come from once a week to as often as four times every week, doing a variety of activities from cooking to crafts and foot care sessions. A day at the program costs $4.
Participants in the program spend a fair amount of their time at Rotary Manor, where they get the opportunity to socialize – not only with others in the program, but also with residents at Rotary Manor and Southview.
“They don’t realize that they haven’t seen someone for years,” Simon said. “It’s wonderful to see when they get together.”
She adds that the seniors are a joy to work with. “It’s very rewarding,” Simon said. “It’s quite a privileged position to be in, where a lot of families have let me into their lives.”
Adult Day Away seniors enjoyed an anniversary party Thursday afternoon at Rotary Manor with residents from the facility.Participants in the program had only good things to say about it.
“It’s hard to get out and about depending on wheelchairs and stuff,” said Doris Murray, who only recently joined the group after suffering a stroke.
“They try to get you out so you don’t get depressed,” she said, adding that the program definitely helps in that regard.
Marie Lossing attends the program every Thursday and says she enjoys it. “The food, of course, is good,” laughed Lossing. Dorothy Low has been taking part in the Adult Day Away program since July.
“I love it,” she said, noting that she used to come once a week but now she takes part two times a week. Low lives alone in town and with a busy family, she enjoys the opportunity to get out and socialize twice weekly. She noted that when the weather is nicer, the program often goes on field trips, which she particularly enjoys.