The decision to seek outside care for a parent or grandparent is usually boiled down to either keeping an elderly or disabled family member at home or putting them in a nursing facility.
But, what if there was another option?
Adult day centers are designed to enable adults of any age with physical impairments or mental confusion to have a place to go during the day and still live at home.
“Adult day care can be a great option for families looking for a safe place for their loved one to spend time during the day, or for active seniors who thrive in more social settings,” said Sally Osborn, RN, with Community Health Professionals (CHP) in Archbold.
Osborn’s agency operates an adult day center at its 230 Westfield Dr. location. The center provides clients social interaction, cognitive and exercise therapy, a couple of snacks, and a warm lunch.
“Caregivers, spouses, and family members bring them to us. They spend the day or part of the day with us,” Osborn said. “We also provide transportation to and from people’s homes, we pick them up and bring them here, too.”
And what they find at the adult day center is a community of people that become like family.
“Care about each other”
“I love it here,” said Sue Altaffer of West Jefferson. “I get to meet new friends – it’s terrific. It’s like another family.”
Altaffer lives with her daughter, who works third shift. She started coming to the center a few days a week. Now, she comes every day.
“I’m lost when I have to stay at home,” she said. “I love the people here. We play games, do crafts, and the people working here are great! We think of each other and care about each other.”
Like many participants, Altaffer is transported by the center’s van. She says the drivers are “kind and considerate.”
Reluctant at the start
George Wagner of Napoleon was encouraged to go to adult day care by his daughter, who thought it would be good for him. He was reluctant at the start.
“I wasn’t comfortable the first day and I said I wasn’t going back,” he said. “My wife said, ‘You need to keep going. You love to talk and you love people…just behave yourself!’”
Now, Wagner is flourishing. He loves to socialize with his companions, sharing stories and an occasional song.
“The more I come, the happier I am to come,” Wagner said. “I love to talk and I can sing…I enjoy life!”
“The people make me feel good”
Gloria Navarrette of Wauseon is a former certified nursing assistant (CNA) who used to care for patients in a nursing facility and is now a day center client.
“I’m picky because I used to provide care for people,” she said. “But, I like what I see here. You see friendly, happy faces when you walk in and they’re really considerate of how we’re doing…I wish I could work here.”
Navarrette says she looks forward to coming daily to adult day care because being with other people helps her with depression.
“I get depressed when I stay home alone,” she said. “The people here make me feel good.”
Osborn says her staff keeps the center’s clients active all day with crafts and games – bingo is the favorite. Additional activities like music therapy, art, and exercise programs are also offered periodically.
“They stay busy all day,” Osborn said. “They don’t just sit.”
Adult day services are covered through Medicaid Waiver and Passport programs. Private pay fees range between $42 and $54 a day; plus $10 – $15 for transportation. The center offers a free trial period for new clients.
Osborn says volunteers from the community are needed to assist with games and activities. A hair stylist to volunteer in the center’s salon would be a wonderful addition, she said.