Adult Day Health Center: ‘Thank You for 35 Years’


​The PeaceHealth St. Joseph Adult Day Health Center​ (ADHC), now celebrating 35 years of local service, is one of the oldest such centers in the nation.

In the 1970’s, adult day services were standardized nationally to ensure consistent and appropriate care for adults in a community-based group setting. The PeaceHealth ADHC, which has been providing health and social services locally since 1977, honored those who made this service possible for 35 years with an “Appreciation” event on Thursday, Sept. 20.

The community is invited to an anniversary Open House 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Adult Day Health Center, 809 E. Chestnut St. in Bellingham. This event is free and open to the public.

The PeaceHealth ADHC began by serving six clients through the Whatcom Counseling and Psychiatric Clinic, before moving to the Iowa Street Business Park in the 1980’s and aligning with St. Luke’s Hospital. In 1989, the ADHC completed its move to St. Joseph Hospital. Due to increasing enrollment, ADHC moved to its current PeaceHealth’s South Campus location in 1995. 

“The need for our services continues to increase as our population ages, and they are living longer,” said Mary Lynn Palmer, RN. “People over age 85 are the fastest growing segment of our population, and half of those over 85 have a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.”

Palmer said that older adults prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. The ADHC can assist people in remaining independent, as well as support family members who provide 80% of the necessary home care services. 

The Adult Day Health Center provides nursing, therapeutic exercise and activities to support older adults and people with disabilities or long-term illness, and enable them to remain in their homes. The ADHC also provides a variety of caregiver support services including support groups, staff consultation and education. Through collaboration with other community care providers, the Center helps ensure that families who live with chronic illness or disability are provided the help they need.