patty getting ice cream

Patty’s Story

Penn Highlands Healthcare at Home Adult Day Services

Do you have a loved one who is depressed or lonely? Is the stress of caregiving taking a toll on you and your family?

Patty Shippling’s daughter, Nancy, felt this way about her mother for a long time. Nancy was worried about her mother’s quality of life. Although Patty had been diagnosed with dementia, she was doing fairly well for her age. However, she spent a lot of time on her couch without much motivation to get out of the house. Nancy felt that her mother was depressed. She would visit often, bringing over dinner and trying to encourage Patty to get out more, but her mother always refused.

Nancy had felt like she had run out of options, until one of Patty’s nurses recommended that Patty and Nancy look into Penn Highlands Healthcare at Home Adult Day Services. Nancy spoke with Danielle Heiberger, the center’s coordinator, who described what a day at the Adult Day Center includes – therapeutic activities and exercise, socialization, lunch, medication administration, personal care and much more. She recommended Patty and Nancy stop in for a tour and they did. While Patty wasn’t very interested at first – as she really just wanted to stay in the comfort of her own home – Nancy convinced her to give Adult Day a try.

Patty started out attending the center once a week, with transportation provided by ATA. After a few visits, Patty decided she enjoyed making new friends, and loved to get her nails done on Thursdays. Pretty soon, Patty was requesting to attend twice a week.

Patty has been an Adult Day client for a year-and-a-half and she now attends four days a week. Her favorite things to do at the center include baking, listening to the piano player, standing exercises, playing dominos and watching the birds in the center’s birdfeeder. Patty’s family has noticed a difference in Patty since she started attending Adult Day – they say she is more talkative, interested in doing things, thoughtful, appreciative, happy and engaged.

For so many, the diagnosis of dementia can seem overwhelming. Feelings of guilt, sadness and even anger can take a toll on both patients and caregivers. However, Adult Day Services is here to help.

Penn Highlands Healthcare at Home Adult Day Center in St. Marys enables caregivers time to work outside of the home or to take a break from the daily responsibilities of 24-hour caregiving. Our center provides an activity-oriented program in a pleasant atmosphere Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays.

If you or someone you know may benefit from Adult Day Services, call 814-781-8253, or stop in anytime for a tour. See what a difference the Adult Day program can make in the lives of you and your loved ones!