After surveying the landscape of options, I got mom into the Day Away program at St. Leonard in Centerville. Outstanding staff, facility, and for 2 days a week, my ability to focus 100% on work was restored.
I’d been meaning to write this week that the SRC facility had been taken over by Goodwill Easter Seals and reopened. I learned of this from an employee of SRC. I’d not been contacted by the facility, as a former “client”- nor had I seen anything in the media. But it seemed to me, that just like our tangled mess of local government duplicated services- that we’ve got the same problem in social services, health care, and non-profits.
Today, I got a letter in the mail from CHI Living Communities, the parent of the St. Leonard center. As of Sept 1, 2017, they too will close.
There is a meeting scheduled for families in July where they will explain options.
One thing I do know is that the need for these kinds of facilities is growing, not shrinking, and that if anything, we need more options not less.
Considering much of this is managed through our social services levy and the Area Agency on Aging, I think it would be great to get some kind of community analysis of needs and resources for caring for seniors who are still able to function in their own homes, but benefit from some social interaction as well as caregiver support.
Friday was the last day for the Senior Resource Connection Adult day services facility in Kettering.
I can’t tell you why, or how long it operated, or any of the things I should be able to share. But this video can.
I can tell you it will be missed. Not by my mother- who is soon to be 89, who went 2 days a week. It was always a battle to get her up in the morning and get her dressed to go. But, on those two days, I didn’t have to worry much about her, she was in good hands. The funny thing is, she always came home happy- and had a good time. That’s the horrible part about suffering with dementia.
The drivers were all wonderful and courteous. The facility was clean, well run, and best of all- when I walked around observing- a majority of the guests were engaged. The staff was friendly. There were at least 50 seniors off the streets- and into a positive, social environment. Although I didn’t take advantage of these services, they offered bathing and salon services as well for a very reasonable charge. For a caregiver- this was a much needed break.
One of the things most of us don’t think about, unless we’re dealing with an elderly parent or grandparent, is what kind of safety net is in place to help them cope. Since my father died in August, Mom has been living alone. I’m over at least half a dozen times a day to check on her, but, that’s still not enough. People need to interact- and socialize. Sadly, she no longer asks for books from the library- where she used to go weekly. She no longer turns the TV on- to watch the news- or the old movies that she loved.
Meals on Wheels is an amazing program- but, I still have to do all her grocery shopping, take her to all her appointments, and mange her bills.
But, we’re lucky in Montgomery County- we passed the human services levy- and the Area Agency On Aging has been amazing at helping me navigate the various federal and state programs- and to coordinate care. She’s eligible for a home health aide- who comes 4 days a week- and helps with cleaning, bathing and hopefully- working with her on her physical therapy/exercises. Right now- I’m waiting for a new aide after the last 2 quit.
There are other daycare programs- but, the one that can transport, didn’t impress me on our visit, and the other is “too far away” for her to qualify for transportation. I’m still working on that.
One of the great things about living in Dayton and especially South Park, is the help that I’ve received from friends and neighbors. I’ve had over a half-dozen people voluntarily come to visit with mom, bring her meals, help with watching her when I can’t be around. Our community is filled with amazing people, and for that I’m thankful.
I wish I knew why the center was closing down. I wish someone would see the value in these kinds of programs and step in and re-open it asap.
I shot a video of her at her worst one morning- to be able to show her what she’s like at her worst. I also shot one of her as she came home one day. I asked her how her day was- and she said it was wonderful to be home, that she’d been at “work” and had an amazing day- to which I confused her by telling her that she had been at daycare. “Daycare, that was daycare? I’ll have to think about that.”
We all need to think about it too- because one day, that might be us, who can’t remember, or has a safe place to go to socialize and be engaged.