On a recent afternoon at Stepping Stones, participants created some cheerful crafts and joined in a game of bean bag toss. Then they sat down to sing some tunes. In between, they told jokes, shared stories about their love of dogs, and talked about jobs they had held, and their great grandchildren.
The group was made up of the clients of McKee Medical Center’s Stepping Stones program, the only adult day program facility in Loveland. Stepping Stones is located in a wing of the First Christian Church, 2000 N. Lincoln, in Loveland.
“Adult day programs have been called the best kept secret in long-term care,” said Angel Hoffman, program manager. “But we’ve been here since 1995 and work with as many as 30 families at any given time.”
The program is designed to give participants an opportunity to socialize, build friendships and enjoy stimulating activities in a safe, caring environment. It also gives families and caregivers a break from daily routines.
A home health care nurse visits regularly to do health assessments and wellness checks, and a variety of volunteers provide music, assist with painting and crafts, or bring their pets as therapy animals.
“About half of our clients have Alzheimer’s or memory problems,” said Hoffman. Others may have physical challenges as the result of Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, developmental disabilities or mental health challenges. While most clients are older, some are in their early 20s.
Hortense “Tense” Griffith goes to Stepping Stones five days a week. Her daughter, Nancy Griffith-Conklin, credits the staff with understanding her love for jokes and bringing out her personality, which keeps her stimulated and happy. Tense is 82 and has Alzheimer’s Disease.
“Each day is like the first day, but she recognizes the staff and when I pick her up, she’s happy,” Griffith-Conklin said.
For more information about Stepping Stones, call 970-669-7069 or visit www.BannerHealth.com, Keyword: McKee Stepping Stones.
This article was written by Lisa Bohlmann, public relations specialist for McKee Medical Center.