Project Independence offers a solution for isolation and loneliness.
By Shelly Ehman, RN
Outreach and Caregiver Support Specialist
Established in 1975, Project Independence (PI) is Vermont’s first adult day center, serving adults from Washington and northern Orange counties. PI provides a warm, stimulating, and home-like atmosphere for individuals to spend the day and engage with others in a safe community with 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 rise 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 threatened due to chronic illness, disability and other challenges of advancing age. At the same time, isolation and loneliness can move in upon us rather insidiously, depriving us of life satisfaction and purpose.
Social engagement is known to have a profound positive impact on an individual’s sense of well-being. 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 challenges, 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 at PI to answer your questions and begin paving the way to a healthier and more satisfying lifestyle.