This year Landis Communities has been celebrating a variety of anniversaries. A very important one marks 30 years since the beginnings of what is now Landis Adult Day Services. It was Landis Homes first foray in providing services for the larger community. In 1989, when it began with just three clients, it would have been hard to imagine that 1,650 clients would receive services in the intervening years. In 1998, a second center Eden East opened to serve persons with memory loss, the first one of its kind in Lancaster County. I recently had a conversation with Faith Hoover, who for 22 years has led the Adult Day Services programming.
Along the way, in addition to growing the program significantly, she has become an acknowledged expert in the areas of serving those walking with memory loss. We are grateful for her work and that of the whole Landis Adult Day Services team.
When you look at this program now, what do you see as the reasons for its success?
Adult Day Services meets a need for people who live at home to relate to others in a safe setting and it offers respite to full-time care partners. The ADS staff are specially trained to engage meaningfully with the people we serve. They are chosen for their ability to relate well to others and to bring a sense of fun to each day. They offer enjoyable and engaging programming every day. However, the clients are the heart of what Landis Adult Day Services does. They contribute by bringing their ideas to the ADS council and by their relationships with their peers and the staff. They notice when someone is missing and show concern for each other. Their wholehearted engagement makes each day special.
At the 30th anniversary program, you talked about the ADS “family.” Can you give a story that illustrate how these relationships matter?
Marie, was a regular to Eden West but had to stop coming due to unforeseen circumstances. We exchanged letters with her for many months. Then one day, her daughter brought her “home” to Eden West. Entering the room she was greeted with delight by all her friends. We changed the schedule to play her favorite game, UNO. The sounds of laughter and the chatter were beautiful. Marie was welcomed back like family. Two weeks after this fun time, a client asked for a card and on her own initiative took it from person to person getting them to write on it for Marie. The card was filled with loving words and caring thoughts for their “sister.”
No program stands on its own. Who are the partners that help make Landis ADS special?
Lancaster County Office of Aging has been a partner since the beginning. We now also collaborate with Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, United Disability Services and the Veterans Administration. In a different way, Red Rose Access supports Landis Adult Day Services by providing transportation for some clients. Each year those who participate in the Annual Golf Tournament provide financial scholarships for those who could not afford the full cost of services.
We are excited to see the expansion of Eden West finished. What does the new space give you the ability to do?
In addition to being able to serve more clients on a daily basis, we also have access to a fitness room located next to the center. The improved sound system makes it easier for everyone to hear. Multiple programming areas makes it possible to provide varying activities at the same time. Most importantly, the clients love the new look and space in the center!
Larry Zook, President/CEO