In order to provide senior participants from Adult Day Services (ADS) in Riverside the opportunity to explore new interests and connect with other seniors who do not have developmental disabilities, the ADS team forged a unique partnership with a local senior center. Five senior ADS participants have been attending the Dale Senior Center in Riverside since November and have garnered new interests and met several new people in the process.
Vice President of ADS South Kathleen Kolenda and ADS Program Director Edna Napier thought it would be a great opportunity for the participants to explore new activities that might be better suited to their interests and abilities. Edna researched a few local senior centers, and participants voted on which center they would most like to attend, unanimously deciding on Dale Senior Center. This exemplifies ADS’ person-centered approach, which allows individuals to direct their days and choose how, where, and with whom they spend their time.
They then went through the application process, and their applications were accepted. The five seniors – Joe, Donald, Michael, Dwight, and Francis – initially attended two days a week, and gradually increased their attendance to three or four. ADS Life Skills Coaches accompany the participants to the Senior Center each day, and offer whatever assistance is needed.
“By thinking outside the box, we have helped find a way to offer new opportunities for people at our center who have senior status,” Edna said. “It is working out well, and those who are currently attending the Dale Senior Center have visited our program site on Fridays and shared their wonderful experiences with those who are currently receiving services from us. Now we have two more program participants who are interested in going to the Senior Center.”
The seniors have been enjoying activities including a gardening club, computer classes, jewelry making, chair volleyball, monthly themed luncheons such as St. Patrick’s Shenanigans Day and Mad Hatter Day with music from a live band, and more. Dwight is particularly fond of chair volleyball, which he had never played before, and Joe said he has been loving playing pool every day because he was pretty good pool player in his younger days.
Another benefit of this partnership is that it has freed up space for additional individuals to attend the ADS program in Riverside, so it has been a win-win for everyone!