Located at the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elderly Services in Middlebury, Project Independence is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Every day is busy, every day is unique, but here’s what one recent day looked like:
6:30 a.m. Pam, transportation coordinator, opens the center. Irene W. calls to talk with Sylvia about her father’s rough night. “Can you see if he’ll take a long nap today?”
7:15 a.m. Emma, 84, arrives with her daughter who has to be at work early this morning. Breakfast begins. “I brought you a new supply of Mom’s pills.”
8:30 a.m. Participants enjoy breakfast. Family members have chatted with staff and left for their day at work or home. Amy and Sally, 96, discuss an article in the Addison Independent.
9:30 a.m. Our vans have returned, and 60 men and women settle in for good food and company.
11 a.m. Betsy, 92, is walking outdoors with a volunteer. Dorothy, 86, is having her blood drawn. Harry, 61, is playing cribbage. Josie, 84, is reading today’s newspaper. Tom, 89, is enjoying a visit from his daughter.
- High school jazz band performing in the Great Room.
- Reading group in the den.
- Whiffleball on our outdoor green.
- Cooking club in the Lower Kitchen.
11:30 a.m. Nancy, social worker, meets with a family from Monkton. “How can we convince Mom that she has to accept help?”
1 p.m. “I’m calling from New Jersey. My grandmother is in Bridport and is getting confused. Can you help me?” John, RN, talks with a doctor about an 84-year-old participant with increasing sleep problems and poor balance.
2 p.m. Thirty newly arriving participants come in for afternoon/supper program. Vans head out to bring some morning participants home. Fifty people enjoy a mid-afternoon snack in the sunny dining room: Crackers, cheese, and juice.
2:30 p.m. Staff member brings Fred, 81, to Porter Hospital for an X-ray. “Can you pick up Louise at the hairdresser on your way back?”
3 p.m. Sam, 76, is napping. Robert, 75, is playing rummy. Anne, 84, is playing the piano. John, 83, is meeting with our nurse.
- After-school program is visiting in the dining room.
- Jeopardy game in the parlor.
- Poetry writing in the den.
- Pool in the game room.
4 p.m. Pat, social worker, meets with Eleanor, 85, who is depressed after the death of her husband.
5:30 p.m. The cooks have outdone themselves! Supper is served: Pacific Salmon, scalloped potatoes, honey glazed carrots, spinach, oatmeal muffins, and fresh berry salad.
6:30 p.m. Note to driver: “Don’t forget to turn up Elsie’s thermostat and watch her take her pill when you drop her at home tonight.”
9 p.m. The last van returns. Everyone is home for the night.