Warm Welcome at Full Life’s Adult Day Health

When you walk into any Full Life Care Adult Day Health Center, you get a warm welcome.

Ivetta asks where you’re from, and talks about her home country, Armenia. Tim compliments your necklace or shoes. If he likes you, Lee offers you a bead neckless or bracelet he made. Virtually everyone at the Snohomish site is bejeweled with his handiwork.

The participants at our centers are a diverse group. Some need a little help, others need a lot. They come for a variety of reasons: help with medications and exercise, to be with friends and partake in a range of activities.

Days start at about 8:30 a.m. as participants get off their buses and join friends for coffee or tea. After everyone is assembled, staff go over the day’s agenda. Today, there’s a cooking project, exercise, then lunch and trivia.

The adult day health centers have programs in the mornings and afternoons.


In South Seattle, “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” from “Footloose,” plays as staff pass out hand weights. It’s a beat made for dancing. A few participants belt out the lyrics, shoulders bopping. Daily exercise is encouraged, be it yoga, dancing or bowling, all while sitting in a chair.

Throughout the day the nurse and occupational therapists collect participants. Nurses examine their patients, check blood pressure, ensure medications are taken, and check the general well-being of their charges.

Occupational therapists get people moving, on stationary bikes or standing and stretching at the parallel bars. Or they go for walks down the hall. For many, these sessions offer the only opportunities to walk safely.


All that exercise works up an appetite. On the menu: teriyaki chicken and sesame noodles with stir-fry vegetables and peaches on the side. On Friday, it’s cucumber salad, lemon pepper pollock, rice pilaf and pears. 

The cooks know the dietary needs of each participant. Some need their food cut up, others can’t have certain spices. Staff members help those who need it. More-mobile participants often help those who need a hand, when one can’t quite reach her water or if she dropped her fork.

While eating, participants talk about their plans for the weekend or a recent movie one saw.

On this day, the aroma of yummy baked goods wafted from the kitchen. Their morning cooking project was in the oven. Everyone agreed they are excellent at making apple dumplings.

Program managers walk through the rooms a few times most days, checking in on everyone, often bringing around the local puppy mascot. Banjo, Hank or Cassie stop to say hello and get a head pat, maybe scrounge up a morsel or two after lunch.

Home stretch

After lunch and cleanup, everyone gathers for cognitive activities while they wait for their ride home. Hangman, mad libs and trivia are popular.

“What band did Paul McCartney form in the 1970s?” Wings.

“What lodge did Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton belong to?” The Loyal Order of the Raccoons.

Participants call out the answers, sometimes they’ll tell a story or make a joke.

One by one, staff members come in to collect each participant and ensure they get on the correct bus home. Meanwhile, buses pull up to deliver participants for the afternoon program.

Wally shakes your hand and tells you about his recent adventures. Bart tells you a joke. And Barbara takes your picture with an old disposable camera she carries. Everyone assembles for lunch, then the day’s activities begin again.

Full Life Care’s adult day health centers serve participants throughout King and Snohomish counties.

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