Powered By Connection: How Easterseals Senior Day Services Fosters Belonging

Powered By Connection: How Easterseals Senior Day Services Fosters Belonging

In recognition of Older Americans Month this May, we sat down with Kathleen Kolenda, Easterseals Vice President of Adult Day Services, who shares how Easterseals Senior Day Services is positively transforming the cognitive, emotional and physical well-being of the older adults we serve. Kathleen demonstrates how the theme for this year’s Older Americans Month, “Powered by Connection,” aligns closely with our goals and outcomes.

What are Senior Day Services?

As seniors age and begin to need more support during the day, many family caregivers turn to Senior Day Services as an affordable and more engaging alternative to assisted living, memory care, or home care.

At Easterseals Southern California, our Senior Day Services (SDS) program takes place in community center settings in Brea, CA and Redondo Beach, CA. Here, seniors gather during the day for socialization, friendship, meaningful activities, exercise, community outings, entertainment, meals, and extra support or supervision.

Many caregivers choose SDS because it is affordable, provides their parent or loved one with socialization and belonging, and offers a time of respite (a short-term break) for the caregiver.

How do Senior Day Services foster connections?

The power of connection is evident each day with seniors attending to be with their friends and enjoy each other’s company. Seniors are specific about why they attend senior day services, and overwhelmingly it is because they want to be with their friends.

We know many seniors face loneliness and isolation regardless of where and with whom they live. Senior Day Services are a remedy to loneliness and isolation.

Who should attend Senior Day Services?

Easterseals SDS are designed for individuals who are 60 years of age or older with memory loss or physical disabilities. Individuals using this service may require support and assistance with personal care or other daily living activities.

What are the benefits of Senior Day Services?

While there are many benefits of SDS, the most notable are socialization and a sense of belonging.

The socialization is priceless for stabilizing the senior and engaging them in positive experiences while combatting loneliness and isolation. Simply getting ready for the day and getting out of the house reinforces engagement.

Some of the other benefits are that it creates routine, structure and the opportunity to focus on an individual’s strengths. Activities are offered and developed in a person-centered way so that individuals can experience success and be motivated to improve and expand their experiences.

How do Senior Day Services benefit caregivers?    

Most of the seniors who use SDS live with their family members. The family members, or caregivers, may be adult children or spouses who are employed and need the support of SDS so they can continue to keep their work commitments. There are also family caregivers who use SDS part-time to get respite from their caregiving duties.

Senior Day Services also makes it possible for older adults to live in their homes as long as possible, as opposed to moving to an assisted living location or memory care, which can be an incredibly expensive burden for families. With the support of SDS, families can avoid or delay institutional placement and honor their loved ones wishes to stay at home.

What Services Are Offered at Easterseals? 

  • Social interaction
  • Recreational activities
  • Refresh! Exercise programs
  • Arts & crafts
  • Reminisce groups
  • Senior topics
  • Pet therapy
  • Musical entertainers
  • Senior wellness
  • Intergenerational programming

What is the Intergenerational Program?

Intergenerational services officially launched at our Brea, CA location in February 2024. Preschoolers from the on-site neighboring day care join the seniors for structured activities throughout the day. The seniors and preschoolers get together for a morning walk each day, and other activities might include crafts, baking or dancing. All of these opportunities enrich the experiences for the seniors and provide unique learning opportunities for the children.

What are the positive outcomes for seniors?

Reportedly, seniors experience increased longevity and some stabilization of debilitating health conditions, both cognitive and physical. Overall, the psychological benefits of engagement and connection outweigh the physical and cognitive challenges the senior experiences. Families also report renewed sense of purpose that fuels their loved one’s interest in attending SDS.

Additionally, the Refresh Life Re-Energized evidence-based exercise curriculum has afforded seniors increased strength, balance, dexterity, range of motion and confidence in physical activity (according to data reported to CVS, who sponsored this curriculum development).

Is Easterseals Senior Day Services Enrolling?

Yes! Both of our Senior Day Services locations in Redondo Beach, CA and Brea, CA are actively enrolling new seniors into our program. To learn more about the program to see if it’s a good fit for you or your loved one, visit our website.

What are people saying about Easterseals Senior Day Program?

We asked several Senior Day Services participants what they think about the program and how it has impacted their life.  

Linda A.

“I like to help people at the program. This is my favorite spot. I’m much happier here than sitting at home. I have good friends here.”

Barbara V.

“I have a lot of friends here. I enjoy the activities like painting and Karaoke. I have lots of fun and it gives me something to do and be active.”

Bonnie L.

“I enjoy the program. I like the activities. I like having friends, coaches, and the people and not being bored at home.”

Joe W.

“My program closed and I can do more here than before. I like the knitting and painting. I am happy here.”

Elsa R.

“I like being here because I get bored at home and I like the art classes. I also like keeping busy and helping out.”


Visit our website to learn more about Easterseals Senior Day Services program and to see if it is the right fit for you or a loved one.

By |2024-05-09T09:22:14-07:00April 25th, 2024|Categories: For Seniors, Services|Tags: , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Kelly Lapadula is the Digital Marketing Manager for Easterseals Southern California. In this role, she enjoys sharing stories that connect Easterseals' services with their local communities. While Kelly joined the Easterseals SoCal team in 2022, her history with the non-profit began in 2013, when she interned at the National office in Chicago. Kelly is thrilled to be back, working to increase awareness of the disability services Easterseals provides throughout Southern California.

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