Could A Loved One Benefit From Adult Day Services?

When you live by yourself, winter can be a lonely time; so can spring, summer and fall. Not only can the lack of socialization produce feelings of isolation, in some people, it can trigger depression.

Adult Day Services provides people who live independently or with loved ones an opportunity to leave their homes for a few hours and have stimulating interaction with others. These programs offer meaningful activities, new friendships and companionship in a safe and comfortable environment.

Penn Highlands Healthcare at Home offers Adult Day Services on Maurus Street in St. Marys, Pa. The medically supervised day service is an activity-oriented program that is designed to improve the quality of life for individuals with age-related physical or cognitive limitations as well as adults with dementia or other organic conditions impacting the brain.

“Depression can set in as people age and settle into monotonous routines,” said Danielle Heilberger, COTA, Program Director at Penn Highlands Adult Day Services. “Our program gives seniors something to look forward to doing.”

A “home away from home,” Penn Highlands Adult Day Services offers many activities and services such as:

  • Cards, board games and puzzles
  • Arts and crafts
  • Exercise
  • Sensory activities such as gardening
  • Baking
  • Personal hygiene care – showers and incontinence care
  • Musical entertainment
  • Guest presentations
  • Therapy dog visits
  • Religious activities – Rosary and Communion
  • Nutritious lunches and snacks
  • Beautician services
  • Podiatry care
  • Blood draws

“Not only do the people who participate in the program enjoy the activities, some come because it gives them an important purpose. Some people feel that they are needed to help someone else with an activity,” explained Danielle.

Danielle added that it may take a few visits before someone feels comfortable participating in the program. “No one wants to go somewhere new where they do not know anyone, but once they have been with us a few times, they make friends. We feel like a big family.”

The program is offered Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. People can choose to attend either on a half- or full-day basis. A half day is up to four hours and a full day is anything over four hours. While some people attend on a regular schedule such as the same days each week, others choose their days based on the activities offered that they enjoy.

“Adult Day Services is great for caregivers because it gives them some free time for themselves. It also is ideal for caregivers who work outside the home because it gives them peace of mind that their loved one is being properly cared for in their absence,” said Danielle.

To ensure that people have access to the program, the Center’s staff works with the Area Transit Authority of Central Pennsylvania to secure transportation. They even can arrange transportation for those with wheelchairs and walkers.

Adult Day Services are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance plans; however, some types of long-term care insurance may cover the costs for eligible patients. Also, the Veterans Administration, the Pennsylvania OPTIONS Program and the Community HealthChoices Managed Care Waiver may pay for eligible individuals. Affordable rates are offered for self-paying families.

To learn more, visit or call 814-781-8253.