GDH is a completely free, 10-week program offered to seniors 65 years or older in the United Counties & Akwesasne. Clients attend two mornings per week and engage in a variety of exercises to stimulate the mind and body. Clients are also given the opportunity to form relationships with other people as well as learn about additional services available for older adults in the community.
The program is designed for seniors who require professional interdisciplinary care from a team that includes a Nurse Practitioner, a Physiotherapist, an Occupational Therapist, and a Mental Health Counselor. Clients must require a minimum of two disciplines in order to participate and require a referral from a healthcare professional but not necessarily from a family physician. “We offer the tools, resources, and contacts that best meet the needs of our clients in order to maintain or increase their independence, confidence, and physical strength,” explained Sylvie Thauvette Legros, Occupational Therapist at GDH.
Thauvette Legros described how more and more seniors are becoming interested in the service because it doesn’t shy away from helping people with multiple health issues. “Our theory is that the perfect client is someone who requires the attention of all four of our professionals.” She added that any anxieties clients may have before coming to the program quickly fade away after the first visit. “Once people realize they’re not alone in their journey… by the end of the 10-week period many of them do not want to leave.”
Thauvette Legros described the program with pride in front of a bulletin board covered in thank you cards and well wishes. One testimonial reads, “It seems almost miraculous that the team (Julie, Mandy, Sylvie, Madeleine, and Jocelyne), as well as the other participants, managed the impossible. After eight weeks I was put back together again. The vibes were positive, they liked me and, what’s more and even better, I like me! God bless them all,” Lorraine Lavoie, former GDH client.
The resolution to continuously better ourselves is vital, regardless of our age or the time of year. Issues for which clients are referred to this program include memory loss, mobility, mood concerns, functional decline, and repeated falls. If you, or someone you know, are a senior who is living at home and struggling to maintain your independence, the Geriatric Day Hospital Program may be exactly what you need. For more information please call 613-932-3300 extension 2041, or firstname.lastname@example.org.