By Sadia Badhon/The Oshawa Express
It’s like going back to school for Joyce McMillan’s husband.
The specialized adult day program at Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre’s Faith Place residence has opened its doors, and McMillan’s husband has been taking part every day.
“He always did like going to school, so he’s classifying this as going to school,” she says.
Her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about two and a half years ago, but she started noticing the change years before that.
If it weren’t for the program, he would spend all day in his room, she says.
“When he’s (in the program), they do exercises, they play games, they make things and he takes part in that, but he wouldn’t do that on his own,” she explains.
The program provides social, recreational and therapeutic activities for 12 seniors per day who may be less mobile, but want to be more active. The program caters to seniors with higher needs who may have advanced dementia or other chronic conditions.
“This program has been a dream of mine for the last 15 years,” says Karen Cotnam, supervisor of the program.
She says she feels there is a big need for a specialized program like this for seniors. “When people become alienated in their homes, they have a depression and they lose that zest, you know, for life,” she says. “When somebody gives me a hug at the end of the day and says it’s been the best day, I know we’ve done a great job.”