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Stettler PALS Program Returns After 3-Year Hiatus

Updated: May 3, 2023 March 31 @ 8:30 pm

Smiling Woman

The PALS program has returned to Stettler after health restrictions closed it down in March, 2020.

PALS (Pursuing Active Living Support) is an adult day support program that provides social and recreational activities for people with specific care needs. It also gives respite to caregivers.

The program's stated goal is "to improve the quality of life for people with conditions like Alzheimer's disease or stroke, or others with related care needs."

Now that PALS is restarting, Home Care Manager Simon Sia says he's noticed some changes in the client base over the past three years.

First, the good news. "Clients are more mobile now," says Sia. "Before the lockdowns, clients needed more physical support."

But the bad news is the increase in isolation, and the apprehension some feel about leaving their homes.

"People fear catching something," says Sia. "And some of them don't have family supports right now, especially if family members have lost their jobs."

Stettler PALS room
Inside the PALS recreation room. Photo by Stettler Local

However, Sia is optimistic there will be an uptick in program participants this summer. He notes people can be hesitant about venturing outside during winter weather.

The PALS program, which has been running since January, 2023, currently has 25% of its capacity filled. There are plans to increase this number to 50% in three next months, and 100% by year end.

Similar programs around the province are currently operating at 60% to 80% capacity.

"Most of our clients are isolated or live by themselves," he says, "or their caregiver is burning out."

But PALS is not just a social club. "Each person has an individualized care plan," says Sia. "They are assessed by mental and physical health professionals, and we cater the program to the client."

Sessions include board games, arts and crafts, and video games. Special activities include a baking or "Spa" day.

Clients said they value the interaction with other people, and are not just "stuck at home."

Stettler PALS art
Spring Art. Photo by Stettler Local

Operating costs are provided by AHS, but it isn't enough to fund things like snacks and materials, so there is a $6.00 cover charge per session.

"We've kept the cost at $6.00, but we also rely on donations," says Sia. "However, if someone is from a low-income household, we can try to make provisions."

PALS runs two programs per day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9:30-11:30, and 1:30-3:45.

If you or a loved one would like to join the PALS program, please contact your case manager or call 403-742-4461 during business hours.

If you are interested in donating items, please call the office first, as PALS cannot accept all donations. If you would like to contribute funds, call the office to make arrangements at 403-742-4461.

Stettler Local Editor


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