In exploring senior care options, maybe you’ve decided that an adult day program is right for your family. Maybe you’re even ready to take the step of committing to Telespond’s adult day program. If this is the case, congratulations! We look forward to welcoming you to our facility. Even so, you likely still have questions about what happens next. What does the process of joining the program look like? What exactly will the daily schedule be? And what will happen on the very first day?
To alleviate these concerns, below is an overview of what to expect from our On-Site Adult Day Services. Learn what to bring, how to prepare, what types of activities are in store, and much more. Additionally, social worker Amanda Nole offers advice on how to make the transition as smooth as possible for both seniors and caregivers alike.
Before Your First Day
Tour the Facility: Telespond welcomes prospective clients and their loved ones to schedule a tour of our adult day center. In touring the facility, clients and family members will have the chance to see the spaces in which they can engage in different activities and receive assistance with daily living tasks.
Complete Required Assessments and Forms: Following the tour, those who are interested in enrollment will complete an assessment with our client care manager. Before joining the program, a physical examination and TB test are required, and additional screening measures are in place due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Confirm Schedule and Transportation: Before a client’s first day at the center, our team will be in touch to confirm their date of arrival and weekly schedule. We offer a “trial period” of one day or several half-days so clients can explore what the center has to offer before officially committing. Adult Day Services is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and clients attend anywhere from one to five days per week. In addition, our team will work with clients to set up a preferred method of transportation. Telespond van transportation is provided to those within a 12-mile radius of the facility; alternatively, we can contract with COLTS transportation or loved ones can drive their family members to and from the center. Our team will share pickup and drop-off procedures depending on a family’s preferred option.
During Your First Day
Just Bring Yourself…: Our center is equipped to provide for the daily needs of all clients, and a variety of individual and group activities are available for entertainment. Clients are welcome to bring a coat and/or a purse to hang in the closet, as well as a bag lunch with an ice pack (though lunch is provided as well).
…and Bring an Open Mind: Amanda encourages new clients to approach their first day with a positive attitude. “Many people are understandably shy when meeting new groups of people,” she says. “Just be willing to talk to other clients and engage with the activities going on.” Amanda also shares a word of encouragement for caregivers who may feel nervous or even guilty about enrolling their loved one in an adult day program. “Know that your parent, spouse, or loved one will be safe and well cared for. And as a caregiver, it’s so important to have ‘me’ time, whether that means going to work, running errands, or just pursuing an activity you enjoy.”
Experience a Warm Welcome: When clients first arrive at the center, a member of our team will greet them at the front entrance. Currently, clients must undergo a brief screening in alignment with COVID-19 safety restrictions (click here for more details about our COVID-19 policies). Following this, our team member will hang any coats or purses in the lobby and escort clients into the day center.
Engage in Daily Activities: Once in the day center, clients can begin to engage with our daily routine. At the beginning of the day, clients typically enjoy coffee, background music, and solo activities such as reading the newspaper or working on puzzles. After all clients have arrived at the center, Activities Director Mary Lynn Byers will host a scheduled group activity that involves movement, such as chair exercises or parachute games. Lunch is served at noon, typically with upbeat music playing in the background. In the afternoon, clients can participate in a second group activity, such as bingo or another movement-based game. Throughout the day, aides provide assistance with showering, toileting and other activities of daily living as needed. Vans begin to depart between 2 and 3 p.m., and clients who are picked up by family members typically leave between then and when the center closes at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s a busy day,” Amanda says, “and we tailor it to our clients’ needs. Those who have high cognitive skills will find plenty to do to keep busy, and we also provide activities for individuals with dementia. Everyone is set up with a plan.” While not currently possible due to COVID-19 restrictions, the center has brought in live entertainment groups in the past and also plans to enlist the services of a music therapist in the future.
Meet New Friends: From our dedicated staff to fellow seniors, there are plenty of people at the center who are eager to make new clients feel welcome. “Our staff is very friendly and inviting, and Mary Lynn is so peppy and makes everyone feel comfortable,” Amanda says. “A couple of our clients especially love meeting new people too. If people are nervous about walking into a new space, I’d encourage them to just get to know our staff and clients.” Additionally, Amanda shares that aides are attuned to clients’ needs while still allowing them to maintain their independence. “Clients are free to do things on their own,” she says. “The staff is good about not ‘hovering,’ they’re just there to support clients as needed.”
After Your First Day
Take a Rest: Even if visiting for a half day, Amanda shares that many clients are surprised by how swiftly the day goes by. “It’s a busy day with lots of activities planned,” she says. “People might be ready for a nap when they get home.” As such, don’t be afraid to rest and relax after returning home.
Evaluate Your Experience: After visiting the center for a “trial” day or two, clients and loved ones should have the information and experience needed to decide whether to commit to the program. Amanda shares additional advice for caregivers who may be reluctant to send their loved one to a center more regularly. “Caregiving is a lot like the ‘airplane analogy’—when something happens, you have to take care of yourself first before you can help your neighbor. Similarly, you can’t help your loved one if you don’t take time for yourself. Taking a couple of hours or a day of ‘me time’ isn’t selfish; it’s giving, because by caring for yourself you are going to be able to care for your loved one.”
Come Back Soon: Our staff is eager to welcome new clients and help them become a part of the Adult Day Services community! If you have further questions about our services, visit our webpage or give us a call at 570-346-7860.