More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend each year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care. This kind of demanding responsibility for a loved one can have an impact on an individual’s economic status, career, and both mental and physical health (Caregiver Action Network).
Seeing a need to assist both caregivers and their loved ones, Active Generations began providing options for adult care: Day Break and The Céilí Cottage, both funded with help from Sioux Empire United Way.
“The adult day service programs provide an opportunity for families, care partner and care recipient, to remain living together,” says Molly Keegan, Director of Adult Day Services and Caregiver Support programs at Active Generations.
Day Break cares for 35-40 individuals each day. The program provides a coordinated program of professional and compassionate services for adults in a community-based group setting. They also afford caregivers respite from the responsibilities of caregiving.
The Céilí Cottage Adult Day Services Program cares for 8 individuals in a residential setting. The program is an alternative option designed to meet the needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, specifically. “It was a godsend,” says Carolyn, who relied on the Céilí Cottage to help care for her mother, Adeline, for over four years. “I am so beyond grateful for what Céilí Cottage did for my mother and me. We didn’t want to place our mother in a nursing home, as long as I was able to take care of her at home, but I needed help.”
Caring for a loved can lead a significant amount of stress. Caregivers are at risk for loss of self-identity, isolation, and feelings of uncertainty.
“I worked over fifty years and was always on the go,” said Carolyn. “Of course, I wanted to care for my mom, but to all of a sudden not being able to work, get my errands done, or even have lunch out with my friends was difficult. Céilí Cottage’s wonderful, caring facility gave me my freedom back.”
Along with providing a safe, caring place for adults during the day, Adult Day Services and Céilí Cottage programs both provide a wide-array of activities to help their clients stay active and stimulated. Fixing a puzzle, playing a game of cards, tossing around a beach ball, and more are activities designed to work out minds and bodies.
“The best part about Céilí Cottage was that mom enjoyed it,” ends Carolyn. “Every day I dropped her off there, she walked through the door with a smile. I truly wish more people knew about this little ‘diamond’ in our city, to see how it provides so much help for so many people.”
Adult Day Services and Céilí Cottage are just two of more than 80 different programs funded by Sioux Empire United Way. A gift of $45 to United Way provides a music therapy session to Céilí Cottage clients.