Eastern Shore's Adult Day Clinic offers health services, sense of community

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 2:28pm

Marilyn loves Wednesdays. That’s the day bus driver Ron Russell picks her up from her home and takes her and other community members to Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital for the facility’s Adult Day Clinic. The clinic provides far more than medical care; it also offers social and recreational activities, home-cooked food and - perhaps most importantly - a sense of belonging.

“It’s an excellent way to get out and socialize and meet your neighbours,” says Marilyn. “I come for my doctor’s appointments and get my blood tests; it’s all done when we’re here for clinic. You really get to know staff too. If you have a problem, they’re right there to check and make sure you’re alright.”

At 72 years old, Marilyn says she’s the “baby” of the group. She first began coming to the clinic five years ago after her husband died.

Last month, Marilyn had a minor fall at home. “They keep checking me out every week to make sure there are no residual problems,” she says.

In between appointments, baths, foot care or blood pressure checks, clients participate in a range of activities - from playing cards, cribbage or chess to watching a movie, engaging in activities to stimulate the brain, having their hair done or simply catching up with friends. Marilyn says that with a home-cooked dinner and snacks in the morning and afternoon, “We all go home well fed.”

The Adult Day Clinic, which has been in place for more than 20 years, currently serves 22 clients from various Eastern Shore Communities and could accommodate more. Clients pay a $17 per visit fee, which offsets the long-term cost of transportation and food.

Every day from Tuesday to Friday, Ron’s bus picks up clients from a specific geographic area and brings them to the hospital. The clinic makes appointments for clients in advance and keeps a record of appointments in case they need a reminder.

Viola Horton, licensed practical nurse, co-ordinates the program and has seen its impact on clients. “It keeps people in their homes a lot longer and gives caregivers some relief during the week.”

For clients like Marilyn, the program makes all the difference. “I don’t have family,” she says. “They are my family.”

For more information about the Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital Adult Day Clinic, please call 902-885-3602.