Frequently Asked Questions

What is a senior day program?

An adult day program provides a structured routine and overall supervision for a person living with dementia who cannot stay alone. It offers a social environment for the participants with activities and interaction geared toward their likes and abilities.

Adult day programs also can help with eating, taking medication (with a doctor’s order), toileting and incontinence care, and ongoing health monitoring (blood pressure, weight, vital signs).

What kind of licensing do you have to offer these services?

The James L. West Senior Adult Day Program is licensed through the State of Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission as a Day Activity and Health Services Center.

What kinds of specialized training does your staff have?

The James L. West Senior Adult Day Program team has completed the James L. West orientation and ongoing monthly training that includes extensive training in dementia, the Dementia Live® experience, handling emergencies, communicating with people who have dementia, customer service and managing difficult behaviors. All staff are Red Cross trained in First Aid, are certified in CPR and have an active food handler certification from the Tarrant County Public Health Department.

In addition, key staff members have additional training and certifications. 

  • Heather Macchietto, Day Program Director, has a master’s degree in Dementia and Aging Services, is a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer, Certified Dementia Practitioner and Activity Director with more than 25 years of experience.
  • Kate Killian, ODT, is the assistant director of the Senior Day Program. She has a bachelor's degree from Southwestern University and a doctorate from Baylor University. 
  • Joan Rogers, LVN, Care Coordinator, began her career as a nurse aid back in the 80s and is a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). 
  • Chris Scott, Care Attendant, has background as an Assistant Activity director. He maintains his active CNA license. He's worked at James L. West more than 5 years.
  • Gail Garnett, RN, BSN is a consultant for the day program. She has been in the nursing field for more than 25 years, working with all populations. Gail is a full-time caregiver for her mother.

All other PRN Care Attendants have been trained as a caregiver or CNA, and have been through the James L. West orientation.

What kinds of activities do you have?

James L. West’s Day Program follows a daily path, alternating between cognitive and seated activities with movement and physical activity. Participants are encouraged, but never forced to participate. 

A typical day starts with a continental breakfast followed by a non-denominational devotion, a review of historical facts for that day, exercise, hydration, and group discussion.

Lunch is served before afternoon activities begin.

Music therapy is a popular activity offered twice a week.

Snacks are served in mid-afternoon, followed by small group table games, puzzles and other activities.

Special attention is paid to providing opportunities for participants to help each other and the staff with activities that provide a sense of purpose and usefulness.

Emphasis is placed on helping participants maintain current abilities as long as possible, which can reduce depression, anxiety, and other behaviors that accompany dementia. 

Participants make their own decisions about participation throughout the day.

How often can my loved one participate?

Participants attend up to five days a week Monday through Friday. Drop-off begins at 7:30 a.m. and pick-up ends at 6 p.m. Set a schedule for your loved one based on your needs and preferences.

Participants should plan to come a minimum of 3 days in a rolling 30 days to stay active in the program.

What is the difference between a day program and respite care?

A day program does not offer overnight care. We offer intermittent respite care for the caregiver during our hours of operation.

Overnight Respite care is 24-hour care offered for a short period of time, usually 7 to 30 days, and is offered based on availability at the James L. West Center for Dementia Care residential location.

How will I know when my loved one is ready for day services?

If your loved one is in the early to middle stages of dementia, needs assistance with activities of daily living and should not be home alone, the day program may be a good solution.

The typical day participant is unable to prepare their own meals, is confused about time or day, loses items, and needs reminders and encouragement to feel safe. They may wander or exit-seek, exhibit sundowning, depression, loneliness or the inability to initiate activity on their own.

If they can be redirected in a group setting, they are a good candidate for senior day services. If this describes your loved one, James L. West’s Senior  Day Program can help.

How are adult day services paid for?

Depending on the type of adult day program, the costs may be covered through Medicaid or Veterans Affairs benefits, Long Term Care Insurance or private pay. The James L. West  Senior Day Program is private pay. If your loved one has long-term care insurance, you may be able to receive reimbursement depending on the terms of the policy.

How do I enroll my loved one in the adult day program?

You are encouraged to visit the James L. West Senior Day Program for a tour and to meet the staff. Bring all your questions and any additional family members who may be helping you with this decision. Have an honest conversation about the care and support your loved one needs. 

Request the application and Physician form if it seems like a good fit. Complete the forms and return them to the day program director. Once your application is received and reviewed, day program staff will complete an assessment of your loved one. 

Once the paperwork is complete and the application is approved, choose your days and start the program.

What support do you provide to the family of a Senior Day Program participant?

James L. West offers several services to support the families of Senior Day Program participants, including:

  • Free dementia education – visit  the education page 
  • Weekly Support Group – Thursdays from 4 - 5 p.m. at the Senior Day Program, 6050 Harris Parkway beginning the week of September 11
  • Assistance with showering your loved one – for an additional charge we will shower your loved one during their attendance at the day program
  • Hair care is available for your loved one at the day program site for an additional charge through our salon partner, PS Salon & Spa. You can learn more here.

Want more information? Watch our “Adult Day 101” Zoom presentation