Senior Independence’s adult day centers offer safe option for seniors, respite for caregivers

Thursday, November 20, 2014

by Libby Feck, Director of Program Services,Senior Independence

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Mom was the strong one - the rock of the family. She cared for us, nursed us back to health, washed our clothes and sent us to school. Now, in many families, this role is reversed. Adult children are caring for their mothers, fathers, grandparents and other older relatives, making sure they eat, take their medicine, and are safe during the day.

In many cases, these caregivers – yes, they are caregivers - are also working and/or have small children at home. They may not know where to turn for help to make sure everyone’s needs are being met – including their own.

But when a caregiver finally makes that phone call to ask for help, they find they are not alone. They are introduced to the many services that can help families keep their loved ones at home. Services such as home-delivered meals, medical transportation, adult day services, senior centers, financial assistance, home repair, companion services, personal care and respite, just to name a few.

Many of these services are available in our community thanks to Title III of the Older Americans Act. Through Title III, funding is distributed to local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) (Council on Aging is the AAA for Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties) and then dispersed to local service providers. Senior Independence Home Health, Hospice and Adult Day Services is one of those local service providers. We receive funding via Council on Aging to support family caregivers by assisting them in finding the resources they need to help them with their caregiving responsibilities.

Senior Independence delivers a full continuum of services for seniors and caregivers, including caregiving counseling and adult day services. When a person calls one of our facilities, our trained staff ask questions to help them better understand what service(s) or resource(s) a caregiver or senior might need.

For example, a young mother of two small children recently contacted us because she had begun caring for her grandmother who was showing signs of dementia. The granddaughter said her grandma was forgetting to eat and refusing to shower. The granddaughter indicated that the responsibility of caring for her grandmother – in addition to her own small children – was almost more than she could bear. Our staff spoke to her about adult day care, explaining that her grandmother could be picked up from home each day and taken to an adult day center where she would receive a light breakfast, personal care (including a shower) and stimulating activities to help fill her day.

Senior Independence operates four adult day centers in our region. Often referred to as the best kept secret in our communities, adult day centers provide a safe environment, stimulating activities, nutritionally balanced meals, medical monitoring and personal care services for older adults who need some care and assistance during the day. In the meantime, their caregivers are able to work, get some rest, or manage other responsibilities knowing their family member is safe and well cared for.

If you would like information about Senior Independence’s caregiver counseling or adult day care services, call (513) 474-3100.