BRISTOL – "One can tell how valuable a program is by how well it is received" said Sandra Coleman. Coleman is RN Director of the Day Away Program sponsored by Holy Trinity Parish and supported by Newfound Area Churches. The program is held each Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Parish, Our Lady of Grace Chapel, Simard Hall, 2 West Shore Road in Bristol.
Now in its 5th active week following over a year in the planning stages, the Day Away Program is a respite care program for adults with beginning stages of Alzheimer's Disease or dementia. The "Day Away" is exactly what it says...a period of respite for the caregivers of eligible individuals by providing a social daycare program.
According to Program Coordinator Fran Olson, the program began with two clients and quickly grew to five. "We can safely handle up to eight participants and expect to see that number shortly" said Olson
The program is staffed by specially trained volunteers who work in two shifts each Thursday. One shift from 9 a.m. to noon and the second from noon to 3 p.m.
"As the program grows, we are very much in need of new volunteers to provide 1-1 supervision for participants. A special training program taught by Day Away staff is required of all volunteers" said Olson.
A typical day at Day Away, according to Olson begins with coffee and socialization, followed by a time to complete an adult worthy craft.
"We will also spend time with low impact exercises, ballroom dancing and games" said Olson. "At noon lunch is provided by Meals on Wheels and in the afternoon participants may play bingo, sing along to oldies music, play putt putt or toss bean bags. The day ends as all gather for light refreshments," she concluded.