Back in business

Adult Day Health Centers re-open under new safety protocols

After two long years under COVID-19 pandemic closure, Full Life’s Adult Day Health Centers in Columbia City and Everett welcomed back clients last week, and there were smiles all around.

“I haven’t been here in a long time. I’ve missed it,” said Jessica Clark, a Full life client for 12 years.

Jessica spent Monday, March 21, with three other clients at the Columbia City center, where staff greeted them enthusiastically and almost immediately got them involved in activities.

Leah welcomes Fatima back to Columbia City.

“This is an important day,” said Director of Adult Day Health, April Hamilton. “When we were forced to close two years ago, we said, ‘maybe two weeks.’ It’s been a loong two weeks. Too long!

“We’re so glad to be getting some of our clients back. We missed them.”

Al is welcomed back to Everett ADH by Ollie.

The pandemic lockdown forced monumental changes in the operations of all Full Life programs, and many protocols that used to be heavily “hands-on,” had to find new ways to carry out the mission.

For Adult Day Health, that meant switching from face-to-face interaction to intense telephone and internet communication. Day Health daily Zoom sessions became a popular norm, and case workers, therapists and nurses logged hundreds of hours checking in on clients over the phone.

But starting last summer, the program devised a detailed plan to bring clients back. Individual clients were invited back to the centers over a period of weeks for face-to-face evaluations with program managers, nurses and occupational therapists. From those weeks and weeks of evaluations, the Adult Day Health staff came up with a new in-person model they felt would allow clients to return in a safe environment.

Emily greets Eugene in Everett.

And for the clients now returning, it couldn’t have come soon enough.

“I’m so glad to be back,” said Daphne White-Tassin, a Full Life client for 17 years. “I loved coming to this place and I’ve missed it so much. It gets me out of the house and doing things.”

In Everett that Wednesday the scene was the same – smiles all around.

“It’s good to be back here,” said Albert Little, a client at Everett for 15 years. “Good to see everyone face-to-face again.”

For the next two months, up to six different clients a day will visit Columbia City Mondays and Tuesdays, and in Everett Wednesdays and Thursdays. Staff will then evaluate the situation and decide if more can be admitted.

Back to activities at Columbia City.