We look forward to answering all your questions when you visit Golden Heart for a tour or for a FREE trial day. However, the following questions and answers might provide a starting point.
Q.My mother has very bad arthritis in both hands which prevents her from effectively eating, for example. Will someone help her?
A. Yes, anyone with difficulty eating or doing other activities gets all the assistance he or she needs, whether the cause is arthritis or other physical or mental condition. That is what a medical day program is all about—offering whatever level of individualized care a person needs.
Q.My husband still smokes. Is there a smoking lounge at Golden Heart?
A. We do not permit smoking of any kind in the building. However, we do allow supervised smoking in an outdoor area, only if the client can do it safely. We reserve the right to disallow smoking for safety or health reasons, on an individual basis.
Q. Do you only serve seniors? My 42 year old daughter has MS and needs help when I work three days a week.
A. Golden Heart serves adults of all ages and with most chronic conditions. Our clients range in age from 20-100. The intergenerational nature of our program provides added benefits. Our elderly members often enjoy the stimulation, activities and companionship of the younger members while the younger members often “bond” with an older member who might resemble a parent or grandparent. We encourage such positive connections, when appropriate. Those who prefer to enjoy alone time and not interact with others have that option, of course.
Q. My son will need a lot assistance as he has limited mobility. Getting him on and off the bus could be difficult.
A. Coordinating and managing transportation so it is safe, effective and efficient is a primary service of Golden Heart. Our drivers and aides have training to ensure the safety of your son while entering, exiting and riding in our vehicles, which are handicapped accessible. Our nurses and occupational and physical therapists offer guidance on best transfer techniques, based on an individual’s specific abilities and limitations, for example.
Q. My mother was never much of a “joiner.” If you force her to do a lot of group activities, I know she will not go back to Golden Heart after the first day.
A. Unlike many day programs for adults, we offer much more independence and flexibility so our members have the freedom to do what makes them most comfortable. They can sit quietly, alone; “stretch their legs” around the center, with supervision; or take a nap whenever they like. While we offer an array of mentally and physically stimulating activities, and encourage participation, members may decline to participate and do individual activities they select— read, do puzzles, knit, paint, build a bird house—whatever. Before “day one” we learn from you and your mother what she enjoys—and what she does not like– and build that into her care plan. All staff are aware of the plan and will encourage your mother to develop her own routine that personally suits her. Whenever she wants to try something new, she will have plenty of choices.
Q. My husband has Alzheimer’s and can get pretty upset and agitated at times, especially in the afternoon. I’m concerned about how you will treat him, how you will react to his “behaviors.”
A. Good question, as the “behaviors” you refer to are fairly common among our dementia/Alzheimer’s clients. Our staff members have the training and sensitivity to notice the agitation as it starts and calmly address it, often by distracting or redirecting the individual as appropriate. We will know ahead of time, from talking with you and reviewing his medical records, which behaviors to expect and which methods have worked best in the past to address them. We often take an agitated person outside for a slow, pleasant walk and conversation, for example. Sitting alone with a staff member in the “Quiet Room” while listening to music soothes others. In any case, we never argue with an agitated client or harshly reprimand them. We suggest or model other behaviors/activities and defuse the situation. We will quickly learn what works best with your husband. Frankly, we have succeeded in dealing very well with “behaviors” here that proved unacceptable at other adult day programs. Let’s discus it in detail…
Q. Is the food any good at Golden Heart? My wife is tough to please.
A. We offer tasty, nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks every day. Our menu always includes a wide range of well prepared foods and refreshing beverages, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. We have “no concentrated sweets, low fat and no added salt” as the standard diet. We can offer special consistency, from chopped to pureed and can offer thickened liquids as needed, under the direct supervision of our registered nurses. A registered dietician approves our menu. When you visit, you will get a copy of our monthly menu. Many of our members consider our meals a highlight of the day, along with the activities.
Q.I’m the one who needs your program and I’m diabetic. Can you handle diabetics? I also use oxygen.
A. Yes, our nurses will monitor your glucose levels several times a day and administer medication as needed, in accordance with your doctor’s orders. Medication management by a registered nurse is a primary service offered at Golden Heart, a state licensed adult medical day program. Likewise, we will assist you with your oxygen use. We have an oxygen concentrator you may use when here so you can conserve your own supply. Another example of what makes Golden Heart a MEDICAL day program.
Q. Do you offer a flexible schedule?
A. The basic day is a minimum of five hours but if your schedule requires more hours, we can arrange that. Golden Heart is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Please call us so we can learn about your specific situation and schedule, and then develop a plan that best suits your family’s needs.
Q. What makes Golden Heart better than other adult day programs?
A. The quality of our team! Both of our nurses have about thirty years of experience, as does our social worker, for example. Also, we are smaller and offer a more “family-like” atmosphere and encourage flexibility and individualized approaches to recreational activities and care. Please come check out our staff, facilities, programs, and decide for yourself how Golden Heart compares. Bring your list of other questions. We have good answers! ☺