Adult Day Center helps those with Dementia

By Danielle McLaughlin
April 26, 2011

When first stepping foot into the Main Line Adult Day Center (MLADC), I was unsure of what I would find. I was greeted by the sound of a piano playing the tune of “When The Saints Go Marching In” and the sound of faint singing in the background.

Pat Barton is the director of the Main Line Adult Day Center, whose mission is to make sure everyone who attends has a meaningful day.

Barton is a woman whose interest with dementia patients started as a young Girl Scout.

Ever since Barton visited the local nursing home in her hometown for a Girl Scout trip, she knew that she wanted to help the elderly and those in need.

The cheery atmosphere and high spirits of the MLADC set the stage for the beginning of any meaningful day and the hope is that each of the attendees will take something away from their daily experience.

The best way to describe MLADC is a day-care center for adults. Much like a child’s day-care, everyone who attends MLADC is on a set schedule. But, instead of “snack time” and “nap time,” there’s “cognitive exercises” and “chair exercises.”

“Due to the services we provide, families are able to stay together, caregivers are able to work and relax and maintain a lower stress level, which improves their ability to provide care,” Barton said.

“Seeing our members active and engaged in their lives even with their existing cognitive and physical limitations is the best part of my day,” Barton said.

Dementia, which is the loss of normal brain function and can have an effect on a person’s memory, judgment, thinking patterns and behavior, is something Barton is accustomed to interacting with.

MLADC provides an environment for people with this disease to relate to one another and build relationships.

Most of the people attending MLADC are elderly and are very dependent upon others to get through the day. Many dementia sufferers struggle to get through basic tasks such as eating and using the bathroom.

Barton is surely doing something remarkable by helping those who struggle to remember, build memories and relationships everyday.

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Danielle McLaughlin

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