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Day program a break for seniors with dementia and their families

The Adult Day Program runs five days a week
Liz Marion (right) and Debbie (left), of the Victorian Order of Nurses Algoma. Zaafina Naqvi for SooToday

The Adult Day Program at Victorian Order of Nurses Algoma is a great way for seniors who are in need of extra help to strengthen their mental, physical, and social health. 

“It’s a safe and stimulating environment for adults or seniors who are isolated in their homes, and they’re managing the cognitive or physical challenges of Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, or stroke,” says Liz Marion, Team Lead for the Adult Day Program. 

The day consists of recreational and social activities, a delicious lunch, and morning and afternoon snacks. Family members can drop off their loved ones in the morning, while they go to work or run errands, and pick them up later in the day. 

“We’re helping them and their families, because dealing with the behaviors of dementia can sometimes be taxing,” she said. 

The program is open to adults or seniors that may be isolated, frail, or living with a chronic illness, disability, or dementia. 

“A senior that could get in their car or hop on the bus and go to the mall, casino or drop in center on their own probably wouldn’t qualify because they don’t need that extra help,” Marion explained. 

The program runs Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“We would open Saturdays if we had enough people to run it. We’re ready and willing to open Saturdays if there’s a need and people would sign up for it,” Marion said. 

We asked Marion to walk through what a day in the program would look like. 

“Most people come between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.. There are 16 that come every day, both men and women. There’s some in their 50s and some well in their 90s,” Marion described.

“They come in and sit at the big dining table and have a coffee and snacks and a chit chat. From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. we do something mentally stimulating, usually a game or a trivia. Then we do an exercise program, followed by a cool down. Lunch is very social, we all get together at the table and eat a family-style lunch. We get our food from the Grand Gardens and it’s actually very good. It’s a really nice time for everybody just to be together. Then we have a little bit of down time, where we want everybody to rest. Then we have our afternoon activity: a group board game, or doing a craft, it varies.”

Marion says that in the afternoons they usually have a guest speaker, or even a live band or singer. Other activities include baking, cultural and seasonal games, and dancing. 

For more information on the Adult Day Program or to set up an appointment, you can reach VON Algoma at 705-942-8200 ext 225.

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Zaafina Naqvi

About the Author: Zaafina Naqvi

Zaafina Naqvi is a writer and editor at SooToday.
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