When the local VON saw a need, it found a way to address it.
The VON Colchester East Hants Adult Day Program has expanded in Truro. It now offers a program for adults between the ages of 20 and 50 in addition to its senior program.
Program co-ordinator Monique Natividad told Colchester Weekly News there are many benefits to the initiative.
“It’s so much fun and is bringing life to this group. It’s a breath of fresh air and it’s cleared up most of the waiting list we’ve had.”
Previously, the adult day program was designed solely for seniors and there was a waiting list. There were also younger adults who wanted to participate in the program that offers cognitive, social and physical skills through exercise, activities, entertainment and discussion.
“There are (young adults) who wanted to join this safe, comfortable and fun place … and caregivers needed a break from caregiving too,” but the program was full.
That was until 100 Women Who Care chose VON to be its fundraising recipient, donating $4,400 to the organization last month. VON also applied for, and received, a grant to start the younger adult program and now offers it every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The program is available to “younger adults with exceptionalities … those who have chronic issues, social isolation, intellectual disabilities or dementia.”
The group meets at St. John’s Anglican Church for activities, a meal, crafts, physical activity, Bingo, walking, music and a food-related event. The cost to attend is $25 a day.
“It’s quite a full day,” said Natividad, adding VON can help anyone at the group who requires assistance with medication and personal care.
Since starting, the group has 11 clients and Natividad envisions it growing. In the meantime, there are already positive outcomes.
Participants “have a lot to give back and we all need a reason to get up in the morning. They are having a great time, it gives their caregivers a break and there isn’t a wait list for these people. And, the senior program wait list is smaller.”
The senior program still operates at Johnson Manor in Truro three days a week.
Natividad said volunteers to assist with meal preparation, kitchen activities and recreation programs are needed.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program, or getting involved, should call Natividad at 902-305-4798. A visit can be scheduled through an appointment.