So many people who are aging and dealing with varying levels of memory loss sit at home alone with the television all day long. The adult day care center’s time has come, and a facility has been created to provide senior-care services in a home-like setting where the beneficiaries can enjoy stimulation and socialization. The Mt. Washington Valley Adult Day Center (ADC) in Center Conway, NH provides geriatric care for those living with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and those living with other chronic health conditions.
The 14,000 square foot facility with trained staff can service about seventy adults per day (open 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM), and it is integral that the building and operation be a holistic factor for servicing the guests. Adult day programs are an essential source of support for caregivers and their loved ones—providing reliable respite care, therapeutic and health services, fun activities and positive social interactions.
The ADC facility is owned by the Betty C. Ketchum Foundation. Norman Cloutier, Trustee of the Foundation, was responsible for including high efficiency and sustainability into the construction of the building and operations to increase the guests’ comfort and to save on expenses. A ground-mounted, 400-module, 150 kWh solar array offsets 100% of the ADC’s electricity use for lighting and other operational needs. The solar installation was done by ReVision Energy out of Portland, ME, which is an employee-owned Certified B Corporation. The “B” stands for “Benefit” Corporation and certification by the non-profit B Lab denotes that a business has committed itself to a defined set of non-traditional business practices that benefit employees, customers and the broader community by creating a positive impact on society and the environment.
The 100% LED lights in the guest area of the ADC are “tunable” to mimic the natural sun spectrum. The lighting is programmed to scientifically support the occupants’ circadian rhythms, and it is differentiated from the early morning lighting, to mid day and then later in the day back to early morning.
The ADC building construction used double-insulation with five-inch panels and an additional three inches of foam spray to make the facility draft free, even though it has many windows. It was also built and situated to take advantage of light during the day, and there is in-floor radiant heating, which is comfortable for guests on a cold, winter day.
The landscaped “therapy garden” features plantings, walking paths, kinetic sculptures and water fountains. This restful therapeutic outdoor setting was created by a wildlife biologist, and it delivers a sensory experience for guests with different colored flowers that are aromatic and timed to blossom throughout the growing season.
The center has two electric vehicles (KIA Niro PHEV SUV sedans) for transportation. These three-passenger vehicles are used to pick up guests, and they are easier for guests to get in and out of while avoiding the need for gasoline and sending a message about the environment. The vehicles are also used to pick up daily meals.
The ADC trained staff and operations are provided by MaineHealth and the Memorial Hospital, and programs are customized for individual guests. The activities provided are designed to build on the person’s remaining strengths and compensate for deficits. The activities range from art, music, dance, cooking, reminiscence, as well as intergenerational and community interactions. ADC offers support for caregivers, community outreach and assistance with resources.
Personalized programs are developed from standardized assessments. Services could include nursing care, medication administration, help with cognitive impairment or depression, assistance with activities of daily living (grooming, bathing, etc.) and so on.
There is a basic charge at ADC for a five-hour day and other services such as transportation, hair styling, and nail care or an extended day are available for an additional cost. Payment for services at the ADC can be via Medicaid, the VA long-term care insurance or private pay. The Mt. Washington Valley Adult Day Center was made possible through a unique collaboration between Memorial Elder Health Services and the Betty C. Ketchum Foundation. For more information, visit www.mwvadultdaycenter.org
Roger Lohr of Lebanon, NH, who owns and edits XCSkiResorts.com, has published articles and promotional topics on snow sports, sustainability, and trails in regional and national media. He is also the Recreational Editor for Green Energy Times.