Adult Day Center outings promote community engagement | Catholic Charities Diocese of Madison

Adult Day Center outings promote community engagement

Catholic Charities News

Our ADC participants enjoyed a trip to the UW Geology Museum in January.

For older adults, remaining active and engaged is an essential part of staying healthy. There are many benefits to community access and integration for aging adults, including reduced risk of depression, better physical health, and improved cognitive function; however, individuals may face more barriers to participating in community activities as they age, such as transportation, health concerns, financial resources, and the need for support.

Helping aging adults connect with their community and foster meaningful connections with peers is at the heart of the services provided at Catholic Charities’ Adult Day Center. The program eliminates many of the barriers to community access that older adults face by coordinating regular community outings for participants and providing transportation, support, and financial assistance to ensure that participants can safely enjoy these experiences.

Over the past few years, the Adult Day Center has been increasing its focus on community access. Each week, participants can choose to attend outings to places like museums, restaurants, shops, community centers, public parks and gardens, and a variety of other destinations.

“Outings help participants feel included in the community, practice skills of living, and gain experiences that they may not otherwise have access to,” explained Sorcha Marron, a recreation specialist at the ADC. “Interacting with the wider community gives participants a feeling of pride and inclusivity.”

In 2023, the program hosted 140 outings to points of interest across Dane County, including the Mustard Museum, UW Geology Museum, Henry Vilas Zoo, Olbrich Gardens, Hilldale Farmers Market, Fired Up Pottery, Vitense Golfland, Madison Mallards, Madison Fire Station 14, Wisconsin Aviation, the Wisconsin Dairy Showcase, and many others.

The diversity of outings reflects the wide array of interests of participants; the program prioritizes experiences that help participants explore these interests and develop new ones.

“One participant has a love of Japanese culture,” Marron said. “On an outing to the Chazen Art Museum, she was able to share her knowledge of Japanese art with her peers and visit a community setting that she does not usually have the opportunity to go to.”

One key component of these outings is transportation. Since the ADC does not have its own transit vehicle, it has partnered with YWCA Madison for the past couple years to use their bus. While this has been a positive partnership, there are limitations that come with using another organization’s bus, including the availability and accessibility of the vehicle.

In 2024, Catholic Charities will conduct a fundraising campaign to support the purchase of a new multi-passenger accessible bus for the ADC. This vehicle will enhance ADC’s community access programming. Stay tuned for more information on this campaign and how you can make a meaningful contribution to support active lives for aging adults.

Recent News