Adult Day Centers: A Place to Successfully Age (Emily Bush)

Introduction:

emily.bush1-IMAG1205My interest in health and wellness lead me to spend time at The Lambert House, an adult day center. I have always had a deeper interest in helping elders. When I was in high school I would volunteer at the local retirement home. It just so happened my great grandmother lived there at the time, so she would love when I would come in to hangout with her and her friends. Every time I left I feel so much satisfaction knowing I helped brighten up so many peoples day. It was such a great feeling I decided that I would frame my community theme around those past experiences. To be honest I didn’t have much of a clue what an adult day center was, or how it could affect the well-being of the people who went there. Through my time there I saw how beneficial it was for the clients to be in such a loving and caring environment.

The Lambert House is an adult day center where elders and people with disabilities can go. There are two main reasons people go to the Lambert House. The first being that it is a place elders can go to meet new people and make friendships. The second being that they are in the care of family members, so the family members will drop them off when they need a break from their loved one. Whatever the reason may be, it is shown all around how much this center helps the well being of everyone there. This is shown through giggles, smiles and friendly joking. It is clear that mentality of disabled elders is more active, more positive and happier. This all reflecting on their time spent at the Lambert House.

Research Question and Research Collection:

How do adult day centers help the mentality of disabled elders?

Source #1

Beisgen, Beverly Ann., and Marilyn Crouch. Kraitchman. Senior Centers: Opportunities for Successful Aging. New York: Springer Pub., 2003. Print. 19 Nov. 2014.   This book is a collaboration of real life stories, which help the reader see how elders benefit from adult day centers. It explains that there is such a thing as successful aging and the best way to do that is with the help of an adult day center. The book explains that there are four main positive aging experiences. These consist of volunteerism, creativity, lifelong learning and recreation. The authors believe that in order to successfully age these components are necessary. With the help of the workers and activities planned adult day centers give elders a feeling that they are needed and loved. Relating back to my research question that adult day centers affect elder’s mindset in a positive way.

I would consider this book to be an authoritative source because alone it answers my research question. I loved that there were personal experiences throughout the book. While reading I could relate those stories to special people I had met through my journey of volunteering at an adult day center. The author makes it clear that adult day centers dramatically help improve the mentality of elders. I saw this first hand at the Lambert House, whether it be through creativity, socializing with people their age, or competitive activities/games. The people of the Lambert House were “successfully aging.”

Source #2

Patterson, Susan L. “Ecology of Adult Day Care for Family Caregivers.” Oregon State University, 2001. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. This journal was a study done to learn more about how caregivers perceive the effects of adult day care centers. The author’s main purpose was to inform the adult day care providers about what services are useful to elders and family caregivers. The results of the study were positive in that the day center effectively helped in providing support to them after family members passed away. There are many reasons elders go to adult day centers. The overall main reason family members sent their loved ones to adult day centers were to keep them active. The authors main point to get across is that adult day centers need to understand the effect of the services and activities that help benefit the elders of the day center.

I thought this was a great authoritative source because it explains a study that was done about the effectiveness of day centers. It not only relates to the clients, but also concerns the family members. While working at the Lambert House I saw a lot of family members dropping off/picking up their loved ones. I thought about how sweet it was that they are taking care of their mother/father and being proactive about getting them in an active environment. In order for an adult day center to effectively help improve the mentality of elders it must understand what the disabled elders need to flourish as well as keeping family members in mind.

Source #3

“Adult Day Care.” Adult Day Care. Elder Care, 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. This website helps explain the basics of what an adult day center is. The author explains that there are two types of adult day centers. Once being social day centers, where people can go to socialize, participate in activities, recreation, and they offer some health related services. The second type of day center is a health intensive day center that focuses on each individual’s medical needs.  This website also helps inform family, caregivers and elders what to look for in an adult day center and also different ways to finance a clients participation with the day center. It turns out there are a couple federal programs that can help elders pay for these services.

I felt that is was an authoritative resource because it explains the basics of what an adult day center is at its core. As I mentioned earlier I didn’t have much of a clue what adult day centers were before I began my journey at Lambert House. This is a good place to start for anyone wanting to gain understanding about adult day centers. I really enjoyed the way this website illustrated the profound positive difference a day center can make on a clients life. I believe this to be very true after witnessing it first hand. I would notice as people showed up to the Lambert House that they weren’t in the best of mood, but by the time they left they were exchanging hugs with friends and leaving with a smile on their face. It is evident that the Lambert House has a positive effect on the mentality of the elders.

Source #4

Hurley, Michael, et al. “Increasing The Health, Activity and Participation Levels of People Attending Day Centers.” International Journal Of Therapy & Rehabilitation 21.7 (2014): 310-317. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.  The author explains that adult day centers can help enable people with moderate physical and mental health conditions, which can in return delay them from having to move into residential care. This journal talks about a program called ‘Access to Well Being’ that is designed to help improve the health and participation of adult day centers. The article talks about going around to different day centers and interviewing staff members about their experience with clients and implementing the program into their center. The aftermath of doing that had tremendous results. There was an increase in physical health, wellbeing and satisfaction with the elders of the day centers that implemented this program.

I felt that this study was a great authoritative resource because it explains a program that helps further improve adult day centers.  I found it interesting when I read this journal to learn that there are actual programs out there like ‘Access to Well Being’. As we all know, anything in life always has room for improvement. In my time at the Lambert House I saw how the elder’s health was benefiting from either a small creative craft project, or getting out in the learning garden to pick pumpkins. It would be great for one of these programs to be implemented there; I could only imagine how greatly the programs they already have there could benefit.
The Public Writing 

When I first began my journey of finding a place to volunteer for my writing class I had no idea where to start. There were many things I could see myself doing in the community, but had a hard time pinpointing just one. I gave the idea some more thought and my mind led me to helping out elders in my community. I felt the inner desire to help disabled elders because of feeling that they are the most vulnerable in the community. Most need constant attention and care to be able to function in everyday life. With all that in mind my volunteer search led me to the Volunteers of America.  They are a community where you can go to find a number of volunteering jobs, whether it be part-time or full-time work.

The VoA was a huge help; they helped me find an adult day center, which was great! There was even a center close to my house, and I was able to do what I wanted most; help the elders of the community. They lead me to the Lambert House, which is a non-profit day center for the elderly and disabled.  Some may ask what exactly is an adult day center? (Just as I had after they matched me up) So I did my research and the findings were pretty awesome. The best way to sum up an adult day center is: a place where the disabled and elderly can go to socialize and stay active in the community. There are generally two types of adult day centers; one being for the more independent elders, where they can play games, eat hot meals and participate in activities. (The Lambert House) The second one is geared toward people who need a lot more one-on-one attention; at the facilities participate in various therapies. This is generally where elders go before they are sent to an assisted living home.

Through my time volunteering at the Lambert House I had some astonishing experiences. The happiest moment for me was seeing how friendly everyone was to each other. I would notice conversations of “how is so and so?” or “how was your weekend?” it was evident that the care professionals and the patients all have unique friendships amongst one another. They tend to joke back and forth as some of the clients are quite sarcastic. I won’t forget what Garrett one of the clients told me one day “Lambert house is a great place to find friendship. It is difficult at my age to make new friends, and this is always a place I know I can come to have the company of a companion.”

As I was on my way home from volunteering I would reflect things that I had learned, or special moments during the day. The feelings I felt throughout my body were almost indescribable. I felt so happy, so energized, just delighted. Guess what? You can feel this way too! It is easy for us to claim how busy of lives we live and couldn’t possibly find time to go volunteer a couple hours a week but once you get in there and feel the joy of making someone else smile or laugh trust me you will be trying to find more time to give.

Here is the link for the Volunteers of America Website

“http://www.voa.org/”

This link leads you to a site about Portland Adult day Centers.

http://www.voaor.org/Learn-About-our-Services/Children-and-Family-Services/Senior-Programs/Adult-Day-Services”

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5 comments

  1. Lindsey Brown

    Emily-
    I chose to do your review on all the stuff we hadn’t finished yet, so It’s really cool to be able to see the final product! I still think your research was amazing. You did a great job finding good resources and did such a great job incorporating them into your work.
    You did a great job polishing up your paper. You did great editing and just making sure everything sounded right. I especially like the topic of the paper. I used to work with people with disabilities and community integrating and activities was a big part of that. I now work with the elderly in their homes. Most do not get out and do anything. A lot do not have a lot of family support. I wish your paper, and this topic, was more broadly discussed so that people would be able to get out more. I think the more active and social we stay, the more healthy and long our lives can be.
    Good job Emily, and good luck to your future!

    • Lindsey:

      Thanks for starting the review process and being so positive with your peer! It’s great that you were able to take another look at someone’s work that you had commented on in the peer review process:)
      -Zapoura

    • Emily Bush

      Lindsey,

      Thank you so much for your review! It made me smile reading all the positive things you had to say about it. It is nice that you can relate to experiences I had in my time at the Lambert House.

      Cheers to you and your future,

      Emily

  2. Zach Ashman

    Emily –

    I have aging family members, so it was nice to learn there are places for seniors to socialize, that aren’t assisted living facilities.

    I really liked your piece. I went to a boarding school back east for high school and neighboring the campus was a retirement home. Your story brought back memories of going to ice cream socials and other events at the home. Many of the residents had attended my high school, so it was fun to hear stories about what it was like back in their youth. I think it’s an important life experience to keep different generations socializing together. It can teach the younger generation important lessons about life and it rejuvenates the older generation.

    The only major critique I have about your writing is you need to add some punctuation here and there. For instance, your last sentence could use some commas. Other than that, it flows well, and I didn’t see any misspellings.

    I can tell you really enjoy helping the elderly and disabled from reading your story. The Lambert House sounds like an awesome place. I will have to make an effort to check it out sometime. Thanks for sharing your experience. Great job!

    • Emily Bush

      Zach,

      Thank you for your review! I love that reading my paper was able to bring you back to old memories. I am also glad you became more informed on adult day centers for you family members. They are truly I great place for elders to go who don’t need to be in an adult day center.

      Cheers to you and your future,
      Emily

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