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Outstanding Adult Day Center Award

This award recognizes outstanding and innovative adult day centers. The day center is recognized as a model from which others can learn as “best practice.”

CarePartners Adult Day Services, Asheville, NC

PictureBoth the frontline staff and the administrators at CarePartners work miracles every day in the lives of impaired adults and their caregivers within our community. Their dedication and compassionate efforts have been evident in the community for almost 30 years.

Family caregiver Claudia Bryant became a better caregiver as a result of getting to know the staff over the last four years. “My initial meeting with the Intake Coordinator and our tour of the facility dispelled every notion I had that this was going to be a depressing environment. Instead, what I saw then and have seen regularly since then is a place where every individual is encouraged and aided in accomplishing his/her utmost, given physical or mental limitations,” she said. For example, through the Club CarePartners (Day Respite) program, higher functioning individuals are given an opportunity to take field trips on a regular basis as a way to avoid becoming bored with the same daily routine. It is helpful for caregivers to see this and to know there is a place where not only would a family member be physically safe, but also emotionally supported, socially and intellectually stimulated.

Couple DancingThe CarePartners Adult Day Services center in Asheville has been in operation since 1986, first as a stand alone center and currently as a part of a continuum of care organization. The center has grown to a certified capacity of 82 in the Day Care/Day Health Program and an average daily census of 70. CarePartners Adult Day Services is also offering a small Day Respite Program and has been participating as one of the four sites in the Pilot Program to offer Overnight Respite in an Adult Day center. The center includes a salon, enclosed garden, bathing facilities, sensory stimulation room, theater room, art studio, and a “cafe” style dining room, as well as several small and large activity spaces. CarePartners also operates a certified center in neighboring Henderson County and plans to expand to other counties as a part of its affiliation with Mission Health System. The programs strive to provide a person-centered approach in a home-like environment.

Friends SwingingCareParters ADS is a place where people laugh, develop friendships, and engage in enjoyable activities like art and singing. Most importantly of all, it is a place where participants make a contribution through their ability to help other participants also feel at ease.

Dr. Lisa Verges realizes professionally the strengths of a strong program such as CarePartners, but she can also attest to the real-life benefit to the people who are served after her 87 year-old mother enrolled at CarePartners. “There is sincere respect for the soul of each individual and also an ability to deal with challenging behaviors that are so common in this population. The difference in my mother on Fridays is impressive; she is more animated and interactive than any other day of the week. Mom has also participated in their respite overnight program, a great comfort for both of us.”

My Second Home, An Intergenerational Adult Day Program of Family Services of Westchester, Inc., Port Chester, NY

Housed under one roof with Mt. Kisco Child Care Center, My Second Home (MSH) is located in the ethnically diverse suburb of Mt. Kisco, NY. In 2013, 129 participants were enrolled in the social model program; 67% had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia; 65% of participants were 80+ years old. Most recently their shared site intergenerational program, Joining Elders With Early Learners (JEWEL), was featured in the documentary film, “My Little Friends,” directed by Academy Award Winning Filmmaker Megan Mylan. The unique program is beautifully captured in how it brings older adults from MSH and children from the Mt. Kisco Child Care Center together on a daily basis to share activities as well as life experiences. There is a beautiful simplicity to the intergenerational approach, but what happens during the day is clearly both carefully crafted and far from commonplace. View the film here.

Friends TalkingThe dedication of the MSH staff is exemplified by their eagerness to develop innovative programs to address new challenges. For example, in 2012 the “Evening Edition” special program was developed to serve the needs of individuals newly diagnosed with dementia. The program offers activities, intergenerational programming and socialization opportunities to support the changing needs of those in the early stages. MSH also recently became certified to offer Music & Memory, a program to connect participants with music they have enjoyed throughout their lives.

Not only does the center meet the needs of participants and their families, but they engage with the community to enhance research and facilitate better care options. “The Fordham University’s Ravazzin Center on Aging has collaborated with My Second Home on a number of research studies to assess the effectiveness of their intergenerational programming,” said Dr. Janna Heyman. “My Second Home is a warm and welcoming environment that provides compassionate care not only for the older adults in need of services but for their caregivers as well. The team has created a model program that can—and should—be easily replicated as the nation confronts the problems associated with a rapidly aging population.”

Staff at My Second Home have served with members of the Alzheimer’s Association’s staff in professional networking groups and have collaborated with the Alzheimer’s Association on education programs, such as a recent conference presentation on “Overcoming Resistance to Activities.” They have also partnered with other community groups such as the Jacob Burns Film Center and the Westchester Community Foundation to raise awareness about the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and to highlight their work with individuals with dementia.

At My Second Home, older adults find independence, dignity and choice.  MSH is a program of Family Services of Westchester, Inc.

Posted in NADSA Awards