New Experiences In A Caring Environment

Published in The Filipino Press
Written by: Aurora S. Cudal c. 2019

Aging is taking its toll on us. My husband’s visual impairment and my own heart condition have limited our opportunity for socialization. We have started spending more time in bed rather than wake up early and do some physical exercise. We are becoming lazy, so to speak, and we are becoming dependent on our caregivers, thanks to the In-Home Support Services Program. All these have changed since our Primary Care Physician (PCP) suggested that we explore the possibility of participating in an Adult Health Day Care Program.

We got hold of an information brochure of the Open Arms Adult Day Health Care Program and were motivated to apply after we read the criteria of qualification, as follows: “Diagnosed with a medical condition that requires treatment of rehabilitative services prescribed by a physician. Mental and physical impairment must have an impact on the individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living, but not serious enough to require 24-hour institutional care. Reasonable expectation that preventive services will maintain or improve the present level of functioning. Be at risk for potential or further deterioration and possible institutionalization if adult day health care were not available.” We thought that the program is worth trying and so we went through a series of interviews by a nurse, a social worker, and an occupational therapist, and they met later on as a team to prepare our Individual Plan of Care.

That was almost two months ago, now we are getting adjusted to the changes in our lifestyle. We are meeting new friends and we are actively participating in the various activities of the Center. We opted to attend every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so a van with a caring driver comes to pick us up at 8:30 in the morning and brings us back home at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Before we participate in the planned activities, our blood pressure is monitored and our blood sugar is tested. We join our peers in physical exercises, listen to invited entertainers or dance to their music, play Bingo after lunch until it’s time for us to go home. Indeed, having new experiences in a caring environment not only prolongs life but expands your circle of friends and definitely, enhances our quality of life.

We have started making friends and we are awed by the life experiences of those we met, among them a former church leader and professor of theology who holds a doctorate degree in theology acquired in England. Dr. Jose B. Fuliga ‘is a prolific writer. In fact, he already shared with me some interesting articles which will soon appear in this column.

I also have a new friend by the name of Christine. She loves to send out text messages in her new phone, and I find it a pleasure to interact with her.

One of the pleasures I derive from my participation at the Open Arms Adult Health Day Care Center is to meet many of the readers of my column who inspires me with their complimentary remarks about the articles I have written, one even told me that she has read my articles for as long as she can remember. Oh yes, I’ve been with the Filipino Press for the past 25 years. Hopefully, I’ll continue to write as long as I can in order to maintain my brain health and delay dementia. I am confident I can because I found so many things to write about from the experiences of my peers!

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