Countryside Adult Day Health offers fun, camaraderie and a bit of independence

Courtesy of Taunton Gazette
Posted Sep 19, 2016 at 8:00 AM

By Lynne Sullivan
eic@tauntongazette.com

RAYNHAM — A visit to the library. A pizza party. A chance to run errands.

For most of us, these are no big deal — we do these things every day.

But for clients of Countryside Adult Day Health, it’s a welcome chance to get out of the house and enjoy some measure of independence.

“They have a lot of fun,” said Trista Kingsley, the activity director for the Raynham program, which is run by the Family Service Association of Fall River. “They really just like to get out.”

The third week of September marks national Adult Day Health Week, which celebrates programs like Countryside.

Kingsley, who has been in her post since February, has 35 clients enrolled in the program right now, ranging in age from about 50 to 97. Two vans pick up clients from the Taunton area, but also from as far away as Wareham and Halifax. The program operates from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and includes activities like weekly trips to the Dollar Store, Wendy’s and the Raynham Library. As well, Kingsley schedules monthly appointments with a podiatrist, a hairdresser and more.

“It alleviates stress on the families,” she explained. “It’s one less thing they have to do.”

Most participants who attend Adult Day Health programs have insurance coverage to pay for ADH services. Typically, they need assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, toileting, transfers, walking and eating. According to the admission criteria, behavioral health conditions that impact a person’s ability to perform these activities may also qualify them.

Bubbly and effusive, Kingsley said her clients especially love the monthly pizza parties — made possible by donations from Domino’s in Taunton — mostly because they get to have soda, instead of the typical milk and coffee.

“I really love my job,” she said. “I like to spice it up. I try to ask them for ideas [for activities].”

Special outings are planned to see the fall foliage, to go for ice cream and to shop at the Silver City Galleria. Kingsley said her clients love to see the mall decorated for the holidays.

Family Service Association has two similar Adult Day Health programs in Fall River, but Kingsley said Countryside is the one that is contracted with the VA, which explains why she has clients who come from a distance.

A trained CNA who worked for many years at a nursing home, Kingsley said always felt a special connection with the elderly, so she jumped at the chance to work as an activity director.

“This is exactly what I was made to do,” she said. “I’m super organized. And the people here are open to suggestions.”

To celebrate Adult Day Health Week, Kingsley was able to book three days of musical entertainment. Jockey Club, Jersey Mikes, Papa Gino’s, KFC and Wendy’s are all donating food for the celebrations, which have a circus theme this year.

To learn more about Countryside Adult Day Health, which is located at 244 North Main St., call 508-822-6603. To learn more about other programs offered by Family Service Association, visit www.frfsa.org.