November is National Family Caregivers Month. 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, which cares for 35-40 individuals each day, 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.
Janice, whose husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the fall of 2014, was looking for just that.
“At the time, my emotions included sorrow, loss, anxiety, depression, sadness, and uncertainty of what the future would bring,” she shares.
Janice turned to Day Break for support.
“In addition to Jim being taken care of, Day Break also took care of me,” she says. Janice met with a Case Manager, and attended classes and support groups.
“As a caregiver, I learned that I was stronger than I thought, that I could do nursing duties that were out of my comfort zone with confidence and that my husband was receiving the best possible care between me and Day Break,” says Janice.
The Céilí Cottage Adult Day Services Program, which cares for 8 individuals in a residential setting, is an alternative option designed to meet the needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, specifically.
Bill, a caregiver for his wife Kris, chose to look into Céilí Cottage after Day Break staff recommended it may be a good fit.
“The Cottage has been a real blessing for Kris,” says Bill. “Every day, she, along with the other clients, take part in various activities. These activities help brighten Kris’ day and bring some sense of joy to her life.”
Bill also benefits from having some time to focus on himself.
“I am able to drop my wife off and I know that she is in the hands of a very caring, well-trained staff,” says Bill. “It’s been good for my health as well and brought back some sense of normalcy to my life.”
A $500 donation to Sioux Empire United Way provides 25 hours of adult day services at Céilí Cottage to an individual that is under 60 years old who requires 24 hour supervision or 50 Restorative Therapy Sessions at Day Break, increasing an individual’s likelihood of maintaining their physical level of functioning.