A new wellness program for adults that may have cognitive or physical impairments is starting up this month at Family Services of Central Alberta.
The Life Enhancement Activity Program (LEAP) is also for those in need of help with social, mental and/or physical stimulation to help prevent social isolation, said Leanne Landry, manager of adult day services with Family Services. It’s also for those looking for alternatives (or supplements) to other community care/respite options.
“Family Services of Central Alberta recognizes that families who are caring for their aging loved ones need assistance,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be $65 for six hours of care.” That includes lunch as well.
“It’s a special day.”
For a half day, it’s $40. LEAP runs Tuesdays and Thursdays and there are 15 available spaces per day.
There are a range of activities that participants can enjoy from exercise, music and special events to crafts, reading/storytelling and cognitive activities. According to the brochure, each person joins at their own comfort level by taking part in activities that focus on individual abilities and strengths; enhance body, mind and spirit and promote fun and enjoyment in a relaxed atmosphere.
The program is held at the Park Plaza Intergenerational Centre (#105 – 5214 – 47 Ave.)
“We recognize how some seniors are struggling financially, and we are still soliciting and looking for public or private donors to allow seniors who are on fixed incomes to attend. But right now, it’s a user pay program where we are covering our costs – that kind of an idea.
“I think it’s an opportunity for seniors to get involved,” she said. “I also think it’s an opportunity for adult children to give back to their parents. It’s an environment that will also rejuvenate and enhance their well-being.”
It can also be utilized as a means of respite for caregivers.
“It’s also for older adults. If there’s a 25-year-old gentleman who was in a motorcycle accident and he has a brain injury. He’s gone through physio, and let’s say his speech was affected. This LEAP program is somewhere he can come and be incorporated into social and intellectually-stimulating activities.
“We know that there is a need in the community, and we know that not every family can afford $25 an hour for private care. And the difference between us and private care is that we add the social piece – the peer groups.
“There is very much that friendship piece.”
The need for these types of services will only grow with the coming decades, as the province’s senior population is expected to continue to rise. Landry said the program is also available for those living in the Central Alberta region as well.
“Penhold residents, Blackfalds residents – anyone that can get themselves dropped off at 9 a.m. and picked up by 3 p.m. can come to this program,” she said.
“I think this program is a way to provide care in a community setting.”
For more information, call 403-309-5834 or visit www.fsca.ca.