Guiding Pathways offers adult day program
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 11:47
For well over a decade, central Wood County has lacked any kind of real adult day program.
That fact has troubled a growing number of local agencies, individuals and businesses that serve seniors. In response, several of those concerned have now joined forces to offer "Guiding Pathways."
A day-program for those concerned about problems they may be having with cognition or memory, Guiding Pathways is a new collaboration of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Wood Lane, Bowling Green Manor and First Christian Church.
Currently, Guiding Pathways is being offered only on a monthly basis, and new attendees are welcome.
The next session is set to take place this Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The anticipated theme is "Sweethearts, Sweet Treats".
"We're doing it the third Friday of each month," said Denise Niese, WCCOA executive director.
"This year we're dipping our toes into the water. Our end goal is to establish a five-day-a-week" program next year.
"The aim is to promote social interaction, memory stimulation and a way to connect people into a community," said Danielle Brogley, WCCOA programming director.
"We're seeing more and more people coming into the senior centers (around the county) who are having cognition issues," explained Niese. "We can handle them for quite awhile but if they get to wandering, or where they're frustrated or showing irritation," a different kind of program is called for.
"We want (people with early-stage dementia) to stay in their homes longer but there's nowhere here in town that they can take them," said Brogley.
Guiding Pathways will also address the growing need for respite for caregivers in the central part of the county. "Perrysburg and North Baltimore are the closest, but that's still pretty far," said Brogley. "There's a small place on Commerce Drive in Perrysburg, and North Baltimore's Briar Hill has a room set aside if someone needs respite."
Plans call for Guiding Pathways to fill a large gap.
"It's not to be restricted to those 60 and over," clarified Niese. "It's for any person who has mild to moderate cognition issues," such as early stroke victims "or vets who are returning from war after head trauma. You might have a 45-year-old, or a newly diagnosed 85-year-old."
"It could be anybody experiencing concerns about their memory," added Brogley, such as people with post traumatic stress including Vietnam vets, some with Parkinson's, developmental disabilities clients, people who are looking for company - anybody who has some kind of independent challenge, and diagnosed."
Wood Lane is one of the agencies involved in Guiding Pathways since DD clients tend to have earlier-onset dementia than the general population - in their 50s rather than 80s or 90s.
Niese said WCCOA's Board of Directors gave her permission back in April to join with community partners to form the new program.
When Pastor Brent Pomeroy and the board of elders at First Christian Church first learned about plans for Guiding Pathways, they were immediately enthusiastic.
"We were approached by several people," said Pomeroy. "Denise Niese was one of them; Brooke Harrison (from next-door neighbor Bowling Green Manor) was another. They said they were searching for a site and they were really impressed with our facility."
The first day of Guiding Pathways took place Jan. 18 in the large fellowship room at First Christian, on the corner of Haskins and Poe Roads. Activities included "laughter exercises, creating our own snow, an indoor nature walk, creating angels for cancer patients, and music therapy," Brogley explained.
The program welcomes caregivers as well, but hopes to provide the caregiver with an opportunity to spend the day focusing on himself or herself.
One caregiver said she really liked the program, which she credited as giving her "a little time to be me." Her husband also seemed to enjoy the day.
One of First Christian's own members attended that initial session and very much enjoyed the day, noted Pomeroy.
A typical day will include small group activities, laughter therapy, chair exercises, stimulating brain activities and games, as well as nature fitness. Lunch and snacks are included in the day, with diabetic options available.
There is a $10 program fee for Guiding Pathways.
Anyone who feels they or a loved one would benefit from it may contact Brogley at (419) 353-5661 or 1-800-367-4935, or email