Adapting to new circumstances is a large part of what we do at Adult Day Services. This allows us to provide an environment for all ADS participants that is free of expectations and attentive to their individual needs.
Adapting…to achieve quality programming, to focus our care and to pursue individual interests
Each day we adapt. We adapt to the weather, our energy level and the time of day. We adapt to the political news, the expectations of our friends and the challenges of a sore shoulder. We can usually make those adjustments for ourselves. However, some individuals might struggle to adapt to an environment when they don’t have the words to express themselves i.e. “I need to use the restroom”, “I’m tired”, “That music is too loud”, “I wonder if I should be somewhere else”. It is our responsibility to assist them with these challenges.
Adaptation is defined as:
The action or process of adapting or being adapted. (External changes)
“The adaptation of teaching strategy to meet students’ needs”. Synonyms include: modification, redesign, remodeling, revamping, reworking, reconstruction, conversion.
(Biologically speaking) a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment. (Internal changes)
“Living in groups is an adaptation that increases the efficiency of hunting”.
Each day we adapt in ADS. Examples of where this involves participants may include:
- Adjusting food preferences (portions, presentation, restrictions) for individual participants
- Adjusting seating arrangements for ease of visuals, auditory, sociability
- Adjusting the activity calendar for energy level, ability level, attention focus of group and/or individual
- Adjusting for left/right hand dominant (stroke, Parkinson’s) i.e. lunch seating, exercise, percussion
- Adjusting for eating/drinking challenges (2-handled cups, ½ full glasses, cups for soup)
- Adjust for animal visits…(dog/cat lovers…or not)
- Adjust conversation to steer clear of potentially inflammatory discussions or thoughts.
- Adjusting the current activity at a moment’s notice to accommodate tension/anxiety
Our goal is for ADS staff to adapt to the participants not the other way around. We will get into their world and attempt to keep it as free from conflict as possible primarily using redirection, information re: personal interests (from personal folders) and insight from other staff members.