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June 24th, 2019

Project Independence Presents: Sharing Your Care: The Power of Social Engagement

As a caregiver, your goal is to provide the best care possible for your loved one. Utilizing Adult Day services as part of your caregiving plan supports this goal. The following article was written by Shelly Ehrman, RN, Outreach and Caregiver Support Specialist.

Project Independence (PI) is Vermont’s first adult day center, established in 1975 and serving adults from Washington and northern Orange counties. PI provides a warm, stimulating, and home-like atmosphere for individuals to spend the day; engaging with others in a safe community through activities, exercise, entertainment, and delicious meals. We are fondly referred to by participants as “the club” and a “big family.”

As aging populations worldwide are on the increase and estimated to approach 2 billion by 2050, chances are you or somebody close to you has become part of this statistic. While we would like to gracefully transition into our adult years with physical health, emotional vitality and financial security; harsh realities often hit and we may find our independence being threatened due to chronic illness, disability and the sometimes harsh realities of advancing age. At the same time isolation and loneliness can move in upon us rather insidiously, depriving us of life satisfaction and purpose.

While social engagement is known to have a profound positive impact on an individual’s sense of wellbeing, conversely social disengagement has been reported to be associated with higher risks of mental health complications, cognitive impairment and mortality. Additionally, statistics directly correlate the health and stress levels of the caregiver with that of the person being cared for.

At PI skilled professional staff members lead creative activities and provide individualized care in a way that respects each person as they are, accepting disabilities and challenges as a universal part of being human. Additionally, we offer extensive resources for caregivers through individual sessions and a dynamic monthly support group. The combination of services instills a sense of purpose for the participant and gives caregivers necessary breathing space and support to become more healthy and flexible in their caregiving roles.

If you or someone you know has become isolated and lost their connection to the people and events in life that offer meaning, enjoyment and healthy challenge, reach out to the professionals at PI today. Make a complimentary lunch appointment, come in for a tour and begin a conversation about how to make a difference in the lives of others. Allow the staff of PI to answer your questions and begin paving the way to a healthier more satisfying lifestyle. 

Project Independence offers a solution for isolation and loneliness. 81 N. Main St., Suite 1, Barre, Vermont 05641-4283. Ph: 802-476-3630, FAX: 802-479-9261, www.pibarre.org.

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