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United Way Keeps Loved Ones Together

Imagine for a moment, your loving parents of 62 years ask you “why?” Darla Larson was at a loss for words when her mother said, “What about my promise to love each other through sickness and in health?”

Darla’s parents, who had been married for 62 years,were now being asked to live separately due to her dad having Alzheimer’s Disease and being diabetic. Her mother, also diabetic, is in a wheelchair too. A memory care unit was the only answer for her dad, which did not allow for her mom. The family’s hope was that Day Break would meet their dad’s needs and that he would acclimate to his new routine before having to put them in separate long-term care services.

Day Break Adult Day Services, a program through Active Generations, enables adults of all ages to maintain their independence by providing a safe, home-like environment in a community group setting that offers therapeutic activities, exercise, healthcare, and nutrition services. 

Molly Keegan, Director of Adult Day & Caregiver Support Services, mentions those that participate in this program can expect a day full of activities that promote social, physical and emotional well-being. She adds, “Day Services for Adults provides respite for caregivers so they are able to continue working or relax and take time for themselves, while their loved ones are able to stay in their preferred home.”

This program has made a huge impact on Darla’s dad and has allowed her to enjoy more time with him each week. The family knew this was a great way to keep their mom and dad together, but what they didn’t expect were the additional changes it would have on them, for the better.

Darla mentions, “Before Day Break, dad would eat anything that wouldn’t eat him, including a cake mix, all because the box had a cake on it. Now, he feels better because he gets controlled nutritious food. He also would nap most of the day and then wander alone at night. Now, due to all the planned activities at Day Break, he stays very busy stretching or playing games which allows for him to get a better night’s rest.” 

Currently there are 65 individuals who are enrolled in the Day Break Adult Day Services and the program continues to grow. “Many of them would not be able to participate in the program if it were not for the funding that is provided, such as United Way funds. United Way makes it possible for us to provide services to them without financial burdens falling upon them or their families,” states Keegan. 

“Within Day Break, I was looking for one logistic solution and found one wrapped with layers and layers of miracles!” explains Darla. 

A $500 donation to Sioux Empire United Way would provide for 45 round trips for an individual who is at risk for isolation, but otherwise would be unable to participate. To learn how to make a gift that would support Day Break Adult Day Services, along with more than 80 other local programs, inquire with your employer or call us at 336-2095.