ADULT DAY CARE CENTER of the VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION of SOMERSET HILLS (now renamed ADULT DAY CLUB at SOMERSET HILLS)
Sometime between January and April, it was decided to change the name of the facility where my husband and others spend anywhere from one or two days a week to a full week, Monday through Friday. This facility is modern and clean; the walls are covered with murals and artwork. Each and every holiday is celebrated, with accompanying themed bulletin boards or large collages and decorations.
The building itself looks like a space station from the exterior. Inside, the design is clearly planned for routine, safety, maximum natural light and the ease of a circular cluster of rooms, with views from most rooms to an enclosed garden/outdoor area. Entering through a plexiglass curved entrance, with seasonal large potted plantings, there are timed automatic handicapped accessible doors, with a discrete sensor that indicates locked-in status. There is a friendly receptionist behind a sliding glass window.
The Daily Calendar of Activities as listed was:
8:00 Center Opens
Individual activity; i.e.; reading, puzzles, social time with each other, etc.
10:00 Morning coffee and socializing
10:30 Return to program room and Chair side exercise
10:50 Morning program: reminiscing on various topics, word games, trivia, etc.
11:40 Restroom break (with assistance as needed)
1:15 Special afternoon program (see calendar)
2:15 Restroom reminder (with assistance as needed)
2:30 Afternoon snack
3:00 Return to program room to end the day with individual activities while waiting to be picked up
4:30 Center closes
**(Note to readers: If you had asked me five years ago, would this be something I would ever write about, much less become so much a part of our lives, I'd never have believed it. I write about this now, sometimes to center myself, but more to warn or encourage others facing similar situations that there is hope and help.)
The calendar is intended mostly for the caregiver, in my opinion. The initial ones were horizontal and included small spaces for Sunday and Saturday, and although very colorful with cute pictures, created confusion for my husband to the point I took them off our refrigerator.
The newer version is vertical, omitting weekends, and has too many changes, so much so that my husband and I no longer talk or look forward to what his day might entail. Confusing for both of us. Yet we adjusted awkwardly and now just have the attitude that each day holds potential surprises, like THERAPY DOGS, his favorite!
Other special activities include: Yoga, Balloon Volleyball, two local Garden Clubs, live music of all kinds, people from his former place of employment, The Environmental Education Center, as well as two local Museums we once took our sons to on a frequent basis. He dislikes when they do a group version of Hangman or Crossword Puzzles and has mixed feelings about Bingo, despite winning a lot.
The cost of attendance is $75.00 per day and isn't covered by Medicare or our secondary insurance. I was able to get two grants, both based on income and his diagnosis of Alzheimer's. The cost is just under $500.00 per month, but as they say about certain things, the care he receives there, plus the break for me, priceless.
**(Afterthought: This type of respite care is not just for persons with Alzheimer's. Depending on your circumstance, an Adult Day Care Center accepts people of all ages and conditions, including but not limited to those who are considered homebound and/or unable to take care of themselves without supervision.)