We came to Elderwise looking for “respite care” because Dad needed some time for himself. What we didn’t know is that Elderwise opened a door for Mom to experience a richer life.
Kurt Kippenhan, son of Elderwise participant
Our Adult Day Program meets Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at our home in the heart of Seattle near the intersection of the Downtown, First Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. We are located inside Horizon House, the well-respected continuing care retirement community, and are pleased to serve residents of Horizon House as well as residents of the greater Seattle community.
Our program uses the Elderwise enrichment, Spirit-centered Care model to provide a structured program of arts, exercise, discussion and shared community for the frail elder and respite for caregivers. Our program has a maximum of eight participants a day with 2 program facilitators –creating an intimate social group of friends. Elderwise is not a drop-in program; participants always come on the same day. Thus someone who attends Tuesday will meet the same group of friends every Tuesday. Participants may attend from one day up to 5 days per week. The philosophy is inclusive, new people are always welcomed into the community.
Elderwise has made a huge difference in Jennie’s life. It does not feel like a “program”. It is a place where people with Alzheimer’s can continue to experience life fully and be in relationship. It’s more than just a place to send old folks who can no longer arrange for their own activities out of the house. As Jennie said, “At Elderwise I still feel fully human.”
Eleanor Durham, Family member of Elderwise participant
Elderwise Daily Rhythms:
Artistic Work follows. Our primary artwork is wet on wet watercolor but also includes clay work and collage.
After a snack and often singing, there is thirty minutes of exercise. Exercise is carefully led and done seated. Our lunch is vegetarian and is graciously-served around 1 p.m.
We have tea, dessert and guided discussion—when everyone is given the opportunity to talk and to listen—until 2 p.m.
Elderwise is a place to make friends and art. When words don’t line up and march forward the way they used to, creating something beautiful, in a community of equals, is happiness itself. Elderwise makes you see the power and necessity of art in everyone’s lives. It’s not a warehouse it’s a workshop.
Heidi Durham (Elderwise participant) and Guerry Hodderson (sister)
The positive impact of art, creativity, social interaction and exercise upon the quality of life of those with dementia is now generally accepted. Elderwise combines all of these into one unique program.
At Elderwise, we know that social interaction- something most of us take for granted- is vital for good mental and physical health. Yet many of our Day Program participants have difficulty socializing and meeting their life needs independently. This isolation may be due to early- to mid-stage dementia, physical frailty, personal loss, or relocating to be near family members.
Our Adult Day Program meets the need for social interaction by providing compassionate, respectful, and Spirit-centered Care; meaningful activity; and supported community.
We offer a high staff-to-participant ratio and schedule activities designed to provide a calming, yet engaging flow to the day. Participants have the opportunity to express themselves through watercolor art, clay sculpture, and facilitated discussion. They also take part in gentle exercise and share a nutritious lunch.
Families also benefit from the Elderwise Day Program. They gain respite and the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved one is in a safe, therapeutic program.
Witnessing the Elderwise Adult Day Program in action also provides family care partners—through example—means to enhance the way they interact with loved ones at home.
Elderwise is special! It offers an atmosphere that family and caregivers cannot offer. It is a gathering of friends to share their thoughts and experiences.
Kurt Kippenhan, son of Elderwise participant
The day program fees are $75.00 per day. This includes a ratio of 2 experienced staff facilitators for 8 participants, a graciously served vegetarian lunch, two snacks and skilled facilitation of therapeutic artistic work (including art supplies), carefully-guided exercise and focused discussion.
Our adult day enrichment program is considered an adult day care by long term care insurance.
Joining the Adult Day Program
We welcome new participants from the Puget Sound region who seek community due to cognitive or physical change, or personal loss, and who thrive in a small group. Our participants typically live at home with a spouse who serves as the primary care partner, with working family members, or within retirement communities or adult family homes.
Elderwise builds on participants’ strengths and abilities. We strive for balance in the group in terms of both cognitive and physical function. Eligibility is determined on an individual basis.
Please contact Tamara Keefe for more information about the Elderwise Day Program, or to schedule a visit.
I am a fan of your program. I think it should be cloned all over the country.
Evelyn Shephard, professional care partner