Sep. 8, 2023 By Bill Parry
It took more than three years but Queens Community House, one of the borough’s largest social service organizations, has resumed its Social Adult Day Services (SADS) program at its Forest Hills headquarters Monday to Friday every week. This marks the first time the vital program has fully reopened for in-person activities for all five weekdays since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
QCH’s SADS program is for adults 60 and older who are physically frail, socially isolated and/or memory impaired. The professional staff of the program have decades of experience providing high-quality programming in a safe, warm and welcoming environment. Staff encourages social interaction, and they engage participants in activities that optimize physical, mental and psycho-social capacity.
“Everyone deserves a caring community where they can feel safe and respected,” said Brooke Samuelson, QCH SADS program director. “We want our participants and caregivers to have a place where they have the support to navigate life’s challenges. We are excited to be able to once-again welcome our community members that are in need of a helping hand.”
Benefits of the program include transportation for seniors and their escorts, lunch and snacks provided daily, individual care plans, and a variety of activities including exercise, art, music and special events. The SADS program also includes caregiver support and professional assistance with mobility, toileting and feeding. Queens Community House staff will also provide informative workshops for caregivers as well.
“This program keeps my mom occupied after her diagnosis,” a caregiver said when the program reopened on Sept. 6. “Being in a friendly and safe environment has helped her function better in her daily life. Since I work, this program gives me peace of mind to know that my mom is in a safe place.”
The SADS program is located at QCH’s Forest Hills Community Center, located at 108-25 62nd Dr., which reopened last November after the organization purchased the building that served as its original administrative headquarters and then gave it a massive renovation. The entire project cost more than $15 million, which was provided through government grants and private funders.
“The purchase of the center presented us with the opportunity to undertake a major renovation to modernize the building’s infrastructure, add lounges, counseling rooms and areas for intergenerational activities and make the entire building more open and accessible,” QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases said during the reopening. “The improvement of and addition to these program spaces is critical to meet the needs of the communities QCH serves throughout the borough of Queens.”
The SADS program is part of QCH’s comprehensive, multi-faceted older adult programs and services that are designed to encourage senior independence and continued engagement. Through a broad network of programs operating out of 40 locations in 15 Queens neighborhoods, QCH serves more than 25,000 children, youth, adults and seniors every year.