The Press Newspaper
The Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is celebrating 20 years of providing Adult Day Center services for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
The life of a caregiver for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease can be stressful and tiring. For those living with the disease, sometimes opportunities to interact become more difficult and infrequent.
Regardless of whether the person with Alzheimer’s is a parent, spouse, friend or neighbor, and even when care is provided willingly with the utmost devotion, the task of helping someone live with Alzheimer’s can be demanding on the caregiver.
In 1993, Alzheimer’s Association, Northwest Ohio Chapter took a progressive step to help caregivers meet the array of challenges they face, and to help ease the isolation those with the disease often experience by opening an Adult Day Center in their newly acquired offices at 2500 North Reynolds Rd. in Toledo.
The Center offered a safe, supportive environment in which skilled, trained and compassionate staff members provided day care for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. In addition to companionship, participants received help with daily living activities and enjoyed mentally stimulating and enjoyable games, food and fun.
The Day Center staff also delivered an invaluable gift to caregivers – respite – the opportunity to take a break from the demands of providing care while knowing their loved ones were safe and being cared for.
The Chapter had essential support in turning the concept of the Adult Day Center into a reality. The Dana Corporation provided $10,000 of seed money. Original and current operating funds are provided by the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio.
In 2008, the Chapter opened a second Adult Day Center at 131 N. Wheeling St. in Toledo. The East Side center accommodates up to 10 participants and offers the same range of services to residents of Oregon, Northwood, Genoa, Toledo and surrounding areas.
According to Traci Holland, Respite Coordinator and Adult Day Center Supervisor, “Attending the Adult Day Center often delays or prevents premature placement in a long-term care facility. Many of our caregivers are in the workforce and need a safe place to bring their parents or spouses during the day while they are at their jobs.
“We provide social and cognitive stimulation, as well as physical exercise that they may not get if they were home alone all day,” she said. “The caregivers have peace of mind knowing their family member is in a secure environment.”
Holland added that often, the best part of her day is interacting with participants and families. “In some cases, families are socially isolated with limited social contact,” she said. “The interactions with staff, volunteers and other families are very supportive. Sometimes all they need is a hug or a smile. This goes for the Day Center participants as well.”
“All of us at the Alzheimer’s Association, Northwest Ohio Chapter, are honored to be able to observe our 20th anniversary of providing Adult Day Center services, knowing that we have met an important community need,” said Salli Bollin, executive director. “I have personally spent a lot of time in the Centers, and it is so rewarding to see the joy of our participants as they interact with each other and our extremely compassionate, skilled staff.
“Furthermore, as we talk to the participants and caregivers, we learn first-hand of the value they place on our services and how much it means for them to work, to relax or to attend to other aspects of their lives, knowing our staff not only is caring for their family member or loved one, but that we also genuinely care about them.”
Adult Day Center services are offered on a cost-share model. Operating costs are subsidized by the Lucas County Senior Services Levy, State of Ohio Alzheimer’s Respite Funds, State of Ohio block grant funding through a grant from the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc. and the Monroe County (Mich.) Commission on Aging.
Additional financial assistance may be available for those who are eligible for Ohio’s PASSPORT program and/or for those who qualify for benefits from Department of Veterans Affairs. Long-term care insurance may also provide coverage.
Hours at the Wheeling Street Center are Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 419-720-4940 for more information.
The Reynolds Road Center is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call 419-537-1999 for more information.