Local adult day-care centers provide refuge, savings
Born in Ohio, Isabelle Hauck went to college in Massachusetts, married and moved to Sanford, Fla., with her husband, where she taught school and they raised their three children.
One son now lives in Minnesota; another, Jerry, in Florida; and her daughter, Janet, in Charlotte. But even after her husband died, she remained independent, living by herself. Then, she suffered some mini-strokes and fell a couple of times, and her daughter suggested she move to Charlotte to live with her.
But Janet works, and she didn’t want her mom to be home by herself during the day. “But then we found this wonderful place and these wonderful people,” Hauck said smiling and looking across the table at Eileen Behan.
That was five months ago, and today Hauck, 75, comes to The Ivey adult day-care center five days a week, where she has found a whole new group of friends, including Behan, the operations manager and chief liaison to families.
“I like the fact that we’re kind of organized. We have structure like breakfast and lunch,” she explained. “But you don’t have to do, like exercise time, if you don’t want to. But there’s so much to do, and they won’t let me – and I’m glad – they won’t let me be alone.”
Later, after talking about her family and a keyboard player who visited that afternoon and the group’s first field trip to see Phantom of the Opera, Hauck adds, “I am a Christian, and I feel at home here even though they may not have the same views.”
While Republicans and Democrats struggle to reach any sort of agreement on the future of health care, Lynn Ivey and Nate Huggins are working in the future. They see middle-aged baby boomers struggling every day to find a balance between work and care for aging parents.
They feel they are offering an important – and less expensive – part of the solution. Ivey runs The Ivey, at 6030 Park South Drive, the center named for her late mother, Nancy Young Ivey, and the only facility of its type in south Charlotte. Huggins and his daughter, Navondria, operate Blessed Assurance Care Services, a nonprofit adult day care at 134001 Idlewild Road in Mint Hill.
Both centers have medical personnel who can monitor their clients – Ivey likes to call them “members” – and social activities directors who make sure those coming to the center, whether five days a week or two, are always engaged. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which regulates adult day-care centers, also requires those centers to have one staff member for every six clients.
The Ivey and Blessed Assurance maintain a lower ratio of 1 staff member to 5 clients. At both centers, on-floor aides are sitting, dancing, exercising or doing crafts with the clients throughout the day.
And they offer this service at a fraction of the cost of nursing homes, assisted-living centers and home-health care. The Ivey charges $75 a day for members who come three or more days a week and $95 a day for one or two days a week.
Home health-care companies charge $16 to $20 an hour to provide service at a client’s home, Ivey said, and those companies are springing up everywhere because they’re less expensive than assisted living or nursing home care.
Ivey is quick to say that all those services have their place in serving health needs. A family may, for instance, need to supplement adult day care with a few hours of home health care at the end of the day for an aging parent or spouse.
But adult day care serves a growing need for “transition care,” Ivey said. They can’t manage by themselves, but they don’t need one-on-one supervision of home care or the more complete care of a nursing home. The same care applies to older adults who have to be hospitalized.
Studies have found that 20 percent of those patients have to be readmitted to the hospital – the most expensive care possible – in 30 to 90 days of being released, Ivey said. But not if they enroll in adult day care, where they get medical supervision and, just as important, spend their time with other people, rather than isolated.
Medicaid and the Veterans Administration already recognize the value of adult day-care services and pay for the service. But as yet, Medicare, the national health insurance for retirees, does not. As baby boomers begin to retire and national leaders look for affordable solutions for long-term health-care services, Ivey and Huggins believe adult day-care will have to play an important role.
“I feel at ease,” a smiling Isabelle Hauck explained. “I’m not forced into something I don’t want to do. That’s a big part of being here.”
She asks a reporter to give special credit to aides Theresa Cizmar, Sarah McGimsey and Meggan Farnsworth. Then, she adds, “They’re all good.”
“The national average daily rate for adult day services was estimated at $67 compared to $198 for a semi-private room in a nursing home … Finally, new evidence from a case-controlled study suggests adult day services can improve health-related quality of life for participants. In addition, adult day services are effective in improving caregiver well-being and reducing burden, role overload, worry, anger and depression.”
From The MetLife National Study of Adult Day Services
Issued October 2010
See complete report here
When your valentine has Alzheimer’s
Not only do people with Alzheimer’s disease have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions, they also have more trouble understanding others.
How can you best communicate with a spouse, parent, or loved one who has dementia? Learn strategies at a free workshop from the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter and The Ivey. The two nonprofits will host “When Your Valentine Has Alzheimer’s: Enhancing Communication” on Feb. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m., and again from 6 to 8 p.m., at The Ivey. Admission is free but pre-registration is requested. To pre-register, call the Alzheimer’s Association at 704-532-7390.
Margaret Moody, program associate for the Alzheimer’s Association, will speak. Free adult day-care service is available for caregivers who need assistance for their loved ones. Arrange in advance by calling The Ivey at 704-909-2070.
Want to visit?
The Ivey’s website is http://www.theivey.com. Or call 704-909-2070.
Blessed Assurance Care Services’ website is www.blessedadultcare.org. Or call 704-845-1359.