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The Times
  • Adult day health care offers activites, interaction

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  • As a member of the Mohawk Valley Health Care Center’s Adult Day Health Care, Donna Wilson gets to perform every so often for other participants in the program.
    Wilson, a singer, said she enjoys having the opportunity to do so.
    “It’s a chance to express my talent,” she said during an interview earlier this month at the care center, along with JoAnn Lewis, fellow registrant, and Stephanie Smith, RN, program director.
    “I like it here because of the wonderful staff and we’re well cared for,” said Wilson, who joined the program in April. “I came because I need the interaction with other people.” Wilson added, “They also take me to my doctor appointments, which I could never get to before because I don’t own a car.”
    Smith said they’ve had the program at Mohawk Valley Health Care Center for over 20 years. Currently, Smith said they have 38 registrants enrolled in their program and have openings for others living in southern Herkimer County interested in signing up.
    Activities are planned for registrants everyday, including a coffee and social hour, trips to Wal-Mart or the Salvation Army store or special events like the Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival.
    Smith said they planned to have activities for National Adult Day Services Week, sponsored by the National Adult Day Services Association. It will be observed Sept. 15 to 21. Over 5,000 adult day centers are operating nationwide.
    While the program has a social aspect, Smith said the program follows the medical model for adult day health care centers.
    “We have a lot of people who have various diagnoses to care for medically,” she said.
    Smith said registrants can be picked up by a bus at their home if they have no other way to get to the facility.
    “I enjoy the staff tremendously,” said Lewis, who joined the program in January. “Some of the ladies I met here are some of the best people I’ve met in my life.”
    Lewis also said she gets affirmation from the program that she doesn’t get at home, such as when she does her crochet work.
    “They have so much compassion here,” she said.
    The program is open Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the health care center at 99 Sixth Ave., Ilion.
    “You get that feeling of belonging and people care when you’re not here,” said Lewis.
    Lewis and Wilson also talked about how by participating in the program, they feel they have a “support network.”
    “I think it’s good we get to talk to each other … you start thinking, ‘Geez, I’m the only one,’” said Wilson.
    Page 2 of 2 - Those interested in signing up or having their loved one sign up for the program may contact Smith at 895-4050, ext. 1347.
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