Adult health center celebrates 35 years of service

The PeaceHealth St. Joseph Adult Day Health Center is marking its 35th year of service with an open house from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The center, which is part of the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, provides nursing, therapeutic exercise and other services for older adults and people with disabilities or long-term illnesses, allowing them to remain in their homes.

Mary Lynn Palmer, a registered nurse at the center, said older adults in need of regular medical care prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.

Palmer said an aging population has put the center’s services in high demand.

“The need for our services continues to increase as our population ages and they are living longer,” Palmer said, in a press release. “People over age 85 are the fastest growing segment of our population, and half of those over 85 have a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s.”

In 2006, the center was chosen to be one of three pilot sites in Washington state to implement “Memory Care and Wellness Services,” a program of specialized dementia day care services. The program showed success in decreasing behavior problems and improving the quality of life for attendees, as well as lowering  depression and stress for family caregivers. It has since been expanded to other sites.

The Adult Day Health Center is located at 809 E. Chestnut St. in Bellingham.

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