Adult Day: Our focus is on Quality
For Northwood’s Adult Day program, quality and safety are woven into everything that’s done. This was evident recently when the program was part of the larger accreditation process for Northwood. While not a first for Adult Day, the program entered into accreditation voluntarily. “It speaks volumes that we decided to go through the accreditation process,” says Donna MacDonald, Director, Adult Day. “It puts us at a higher level and makes us someone the province looks to as a leader.”
In 1978, Northwood was the first organization in Nova Scotia to offer an adult day program. Yet, with no provincially-set standards, Out and About prides itself on implementing strategic and planned safeguards to ensure its programs are of the utmost quality.
- Failure-free activities and opportunities to build purpose and self esteem are the backbone of the program.
- When each client arrives in the morning, staff record a description of what they’re wearing, what time they arrive and their mobility level for that day. Staff continue to do check ins throughout the day and when the participant is leaving to go home, their departure time is again recorded.
- All staff are certified in CPR and first aid.
- Staff receive regular training specific to dementia care.
- There are door bells at each location that ring when the main door is opened.
- The fire drill procedure is tested monthly and all prepared/purchased food follows strict guidelines from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
- The program operates on a clean/dirty system. This means whoever is cooking and preparing meals and snacks for the day would not be responsible for taking someone to the bathroom.
- Out and About licensed staff are permitted to administer medication. To ensure an overdose doesn’t happen with participants who take ‘as-needed’ meds (nitroglycerin, acetaminophen, antibiotics, etc. ), staff must communicate with families about if/when a dose was last taken. In turn, that information is relayed back to the family at day’s end.
“All of these safeguards provide a high level of accountability,” explains Donna. “Our participants are coming from a safe home environment to our environment here, and we need to ensure they’re kept as safe as possible.”
For her, quality means creating that special connection and a trust between the participant and the staff member.