I had the opportunity to visit Avenidas Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center this week. It is a senior health care center for adults who might be less dependent than others, or shouldn’t be left alone. As the vans arrived in the morning the staff came outside to greet each person as they stepped off the bus. Each person was escorted inside the front door and they all seemed genuinely happy to be there. After I saw what kinds of activities they got to do for the day, I could see why they were all so happy. About half of them were in a lecture that I watched for a few minutes. It was about Chinese New Year and the traditions that are followed at this time of year. Someone was playing a piano in the front of the room before the volunteer speaker started her presentation and the group seemed really interested in all the activity. The other half of the seniors were working on making Valentines Day collages in another room. I took a few photos of them while they worked on their creations and some of them were quite flattered that I was snapping their photos. I watched as they shared colored felt pens, glue sticks and magazines. Off to the side of the art-room was a small group of women who were making brownies with one of the staff members. Everyone had the chance to decide whether they wanted to bake, listen to a lecture or do the craft project.
During the warmer weather the participants get to go outside and work in the garden. There are raised beds outside in a fenced courtyard. A “Horticultural Therapist” comes in several times a week and helps everyone plant and maintain herbs and flowers. That would be really important if you had a relative who enjoyed gardening their entire life and now it wasn’t safe for them to go out into the backyard.
I peeked inside the kitchen and saw that the chef was making artichoke turkey sausage and pasta to go with the brownies. It looked like a fabulous lunch. Both the kitchen and the entire facility were spotless and smelled fresh and clean.
I thoroughly enjoyed my tour and the opportunity to photograph a few of the seniors who were participating in different activities. This particular branch of Avenidas is an adult daycare that offers nursing, physical therapy, speech therapy, and medication administration. The staff consists of social workers, nurses, and therapists. And, as with most non-profit organizations, volunteers play a very important role. The seniors that are enrolled all have physician’s orders so that the staff knows whether or not they have any special needs and how to care for them each day.
Lenny Park, the Director, explained to me that Avenidas allows families to stay together. By offering the caregiver a break from the stressful routine of taking care of a frail relative during the day, they are still able to have a job of take care of other responsibilities and know that their relative is being cared for in a professional and loving environment. It is as much for the person enrolled as it is for the person that they live with. This place is really special and I’m happy to get to spread the word. Please go to the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center website if you have questions or want a tour. You’ll be very impressed.