Minneapolis VA Health Care System
Adult Day Health Care Program
Adult Day Health Care Program (ADHC) is a therapeutic day program for eligible Veterans who live at home but may benefit from a structured day of stimulating activities. The program provides a wide variety of activities through Recreation Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Creative Arts Therapy programming. Nursing staff provide health education, monitoring and treatment.
The primary purpose of the ADHC program is to provide a structured environment for participating Veterans with expected outcomes such as an improvement in quality of life, function, health, autonomy and well-being. It also gives the caregiver respite during the day and offers a monthly caregiver support group. Daily sessions provided by ADHC staff members are chosen with the following goals in mind:
- Cognitive stimulation: Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist facilitates sessions that are tailored to the individuals in the room and their respective life experiences; rapport is developed between the participants as the individuals socialize throughout the day in the program area and at the lunch tables. The cognitive sessions focus on teamwork, concentration, reminiscence and alertness via quiz games, trivia and word games, bingo, dice and board games, and musical sessions (i.e. Name That Tune, Military Trivia, Storytellers and Veterans’ Voices).
- Physical movement: These sessions focus on the maintenance of motor function, hand/eye coordination and strength. We encourage movement using modified lawn games such as Toss Play, ladder golf, indoor bowling and horseshoes for large motor skills. For fine motor skills, breakout sessions in the afternoon such as Arts and Crafts sessions are also on the calendar (i.e. painting, drawing, leather kits, model kits and coloring poster art). Participating in music therapy sessions by standing or seated dancing and drumming promotes movement as well. The Occupational Therapy Assistant facilitates a daily exercise group and provides resource materials and videos to educate the Veterans on health and wellness topics.
- Social, Emotional & Spiritual support: These mindful sessions are utilized to elevate mood and raise self-esteem by providing opportunities for the Veterans to build friendships with each other. We have various interactive programs and games including birthday parties, celebrations and coffee breaks. We also have discussion groups, educational programs, reminiscing, story-telling, sing-alongs and in-house concerts by local musicians. Annual visits from the National Eagle Center, MN Twins curator, Animal Ambassadors and the Siberian Husky Club are favorites of the Veterans who attend regularly.
The Veterans are brought to the program in the morning via transportation services such as Metro Mobility or by family members. They are picked up after 2 p.m., when the structured programming ends for the day. Most Veterans attend twice a week, with some exceptions, depending on their need and the program’s availability. The Adult Day Health Care program strives to enhance the quality of Veterans’ lives through carefully selected programs and recreational therapy sessions.