For senior adults who are unable to live safely on their own due to physical or mental challenges, and for independent seniors who are seeking new activities, adult day centers offer daytime programs for people with all levels of physical and cognitive abilities.
Seniors can spend the day engaged in classes and programs that provide education, skill development, social interaction and therapeutic benefit.
Adult day centers are a helpful option for families who have an aging relative living with them but are unable to stay home with them during the day. They are also very beneficial for seniors with mental challenges such as dementia or developmental disabilities. The programs are designed to meet each person at their level of ability, so that they provide both a healing benefit and personal empowerment.
The programs at adult day centers are designed to support seniors on a holistic level. Educational programs engage their minds, exercise programs engage their bodies, and art and music therapy classes engage their spirits. They also provide opportunities for seniors to interact with others, eliminating the loneliness and isolation that can occur when they are home alone all day.
The Mandel Adult Day Center at Menorah Park in Beachwood provides day activities for both independent and dependent seniors. Programs are divided into “clubs” that serve specific needs, such as peer interaction, dementia and physical disabilities.
“Activities are provided for many levels of cognition and illness,” said Shawn Biese, director of activities. Staff members, including an on-site nurse and social worker, also assist seniors with therapeutic care, personal care needs, activities of daily living, and they distribute medicine.
The Benjamin Rose Adult Day Program in Cleveland Heights assists seniors who have cognitive and functional impairments, such as dementia. The programs are designed around each individual’s particular interests and include storytelling, folk art and cultural festivals. Clients refer to the program as “school” or “class” rather than “day care,” because of the educational benefit they receive. The program also hosts caregiver appreciation events several times per year to provide support, education and stress relief to family members.
The Benjamin Rose Institute also offers a day program for seniors with mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The Partial Hospitalization Program offers seniors individual counseling and group therapy sessions that teach coping skills, medication management, conflict resolution, and behavior management.
“Our goal is to help our seniors live as independently as possible and to build communication skills to be able to advocate for themselves,” said Linda Elliott, director of the programs.
The Jewish Family Service Association’s Ascentia Adult Day Support Program in Cleveland Heights offers daily recreation-based activities for adults of all faiths who have developmental or intellectual disabilities. Programs help teach socialization and daily living skills, as well as provide exercise and recreational outings.
All activities are adapted to the individual’s level of ability and function.
“We help to challenge people to their level of ability without frustrating them by challenging them too much,” said Ashley Palm, day support supervisor.
Most adult day centers offer breakfast and lunch programs, as well as transportation to and from the center. For more information, contact: Mandel Adult Day Center, 216-831-6500; Benjamin Rose Adult Day and Partial Hospitalization Programs,216-373-2000; JFSA Ascentia Adult Day Support Program 216-906-6570.