Glacier View Lodge plans to expand its popular Adult Day Program in 2014.
Director of resident lifestyle and community programs Liz Friis says the program, which offers services to seniors still living in the community, usually has about 30 to 32 people on its wait list as of the past couple of years.
“Up to two years ago they were only waiting two months to start our program, and now people might wait on our wait list for six to seven months,” says Friis, noting the program is integrated between Glacier View residents, but Glacier View plans to build an additional space to separate it from residents. “Moving our adult day program clients into a separate space will allow them to have a better peer group of people that are compatible with activities, but it will also give us more space, so that we can expand the program to a wider group of clients and decrease the wait list.”
Offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, the program is designed to benefit caregivers more than clients, who often suffer from cognitive diseases like dementia.
“The stress of caregiving is really demanding, especially when you’re in your senior years as well and you might have some health issues,” explains Friis. “We see that caregivers who have a day or two off a week can cope with the demands of caregiving longer, and that allows them and the person they love to stay in their own homes longer, and reduces demand on other health services.”
Friis notes the stress of caregiving can lead to faster admission to longterm care facilities, unnecessary hospital admissions and health issues for the caregiver themselves.
While clients participate in activities in the day program, caregivers can catch up on errands, chores, visiting with friends or, simply, some much-needed sleep.
On average 10 clients attend the program each day now, and Friis says the expansion would mean up to 20 clients could be accommodated. Decreasing the program’s wait list is very important, continues Friis, as six to seven months is a long time to wait for admittance.
“We know that caregivers don’t pick up the phone until they’re really feeling the stress of caregiving,” says Friis.
“We’ve called some families recently to book their family member to start on the adult day program only to find that they’ve already been placed in a (longterm care) facility or that the caregiver couldn’t manage the burden anymore and they’re waiting in hospital for placement (in a facility) — and in some cases we’ve found out that the clients have already died.”
She also notes separating the day program from Glacier View residents would reduce stimulation for residents.
“They see folks leaving in the afternoon and they think it must be time for me to get going somewhere too — ‘maybe I need to get home,'” explains Friis. “So it almost becomes a trigger.”
The new space needs to have a dining room, kitchen, lounge, resting area and garden access, among other things, according to Friis. She adds the space could be a new wing added onto Glacier View or it could be a completely separate building.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority has committed $330,000 to construct the new space, but Glacier View needs to raise about $150,000 more to make its plan a reality.
For more information or to make a donation call Glacier View at 250-338-1451.
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Glacier View Lodge will hold a gala Oct. 17 at the Florence Filberg Centre to help fundraise for its new Adult Day Program space.
The gala evening will feature Dr. Dave Hepburn, from CBC’s Wisequacks, music by Michael Johnson & Friends, a silent auction, games, dessert buffet, cash bar and more.
Tickets for the Gala will be $30 and will be available starting in August at Cardero’s Coffee and Tea Company on Fifth Street and at Glacier View Lodge.
Glacier View is looking for sponsors for the gala, as well as donations to the silent auction.
Investor’s Group will be a key sponsor at the gala.
Glacier View will also hold a bazaar at the Comox Centre Mall in early November, and a car raffle in 2014.
For more information or to make a donation to the project, call Glacier View at 250-338-1451.