January 14, 2019 3:26 pm
Updated: January 14, 2019 7:11 pm

Toronto adult day program for people with dementia gives caregivers respite

WATCH ABOVE: The Adult Day Program at Providence Healthcare is more like a social club for individuals with moderate to severe dementia. The home-like environment supports caregivers who have a family member living with memory loss. Susan Hay has the story.


The adult day program at Providence Healthcare is more like a social club for individuals living with moderate to severe dementia.

This home-like environment supports caregivers like Renee Fullerton who is helping to take care of her 90-year-old mom Vroni Bergel.

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“With dementia, whatever they are feeling at the time, it carries over,” Fullerton said. “They don’t always know why they’re feeling good, but I know my mom feels good when she goes home after spending time at the adult day program.”

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“The program costs $31 for up to 10 hours of care,” said Elizabeth Davison, manager of the program. “It includes a hot meal, snacks, and all the activities.”

Caring and trained staff engage in therapeutic and meaningful social and recreational activities throughout the day.

“We’re filling in a gap, but there’s going to be a bigger need for this type of program in order to sustain individuals in the community, “ Davison said.

“It’s the caregivers that need this type of program that can help keep the individual with memory impairment at home for as long as possible and as safe as possible.”

Caregivers devote so much time and energy making sure their loved one maintains their quality of life – yet gradually it begins to take its toll.

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“We have caregivers who have broken down in our lobby that are at their wits end,” Davison said. “We offer support groups at Providence Healthcare for our caregivers. Often times we are referred to as the angels, we have been told.”

“Mom thanks me quite often for taking her to the program,” Fullerton said. “Mom absolutely loves it.”

“It’s important to keep the fees at a minimum so that it’s affordable for people to access these services,” Davison said.

“So that caregivers can get the support and break.”

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