Camano program will aid those with memory issues

CAMANO ISLAND — A new program offered by the Camano Center will provide help to Alzheimer’s and other patients with memory issues as well as family members who care for them.

The adult day program, which begins July 10, will be offered Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Camano Center, 606 Arrowhead Road.

Up to 12 people can attend each session, which costs $60. Scholarships are available for those who can’t pay for the services.

Activities are geared to individual needs and abilities but can including singing, games, walking and other exercises, said Ginny Berube, who directs the program.

The adult day program was begun last year as a six-month pilot project, held every other week. “It proved so successful, we’ve moved it to one day every week,” Berube said.

One of the people who used that program was Vicky Giannelli. Her husband Joe Giannelli, 72, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1995. “I think it’s fabulous, especially since it’s so close,” she said. “And the people are great.”

The program allows her husband to get out of the house and spend time with others and gives her time to work around the house, have coffee with friends or just have a little time to herself.

Interest in such a program began after talking with local residents, physicians and pharmacists on the types of services Camano Center could provide to the community, Berube said.

Karla Jacks, executive director of the Camano Senior and Community Center, which runs the program, said about half of the island’s 16,000 residents are over the age of 50.

“We have an aging population out here,” she said. “This is a way we feel we can help our community members stay in their homes longer. We provide lunch and the caregivers get a four-hour break.”

The adult day program is one of several services offered by the nonprofit for older adults. Others include helping older adults get grocery and medications delivered to their home and providing door-to-door transportation for shopping trips.

It also has a service, Camano Connections, to make morning phone calls to older adults who live on their own. That service has been able to get help to people with unexpected health issues, Jacks said.

“Camano Island is kind of isolated,” Jacks said. “We try to create programs that will support seniors, but don’t cost a lot of money.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

Camano program

The nonprofit Camano Center’s program to provide services for adults with Alzheimer’s or other memory loss issues will be offered every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning July 10. The cost is $60 per session. Call 360-387-6201 for information.

Information on other adult day programs is available at the website of Senior Services of Snohomish County: www.sssc.org/i-a-rls/1-AdultDayHealth.pdf.

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