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Adult day care shifts gears for local clients

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Organization aims to serve more with new methods

By Taylor Riley

 

Tri-County Community Action has served seniors for more than 25 years in Oldham, Trimble and Henry Counties, but after the Kentucky Office of Aging changed its standards last year, the non-profit agency located in La Grange was afraid it would have to shut its doors to the adult day care program.

Instead, though, the program opted to transition from a social model to a medical model adult day care and this would require some changes around the already-existing facility.

To become a medical model, the facility plans to reconstruct rooms in the facility to have a medical procedure room, a quiet room, a handicapped-accessible shower, observation and treatment room.

The facility is open five days a week and currently has 21 seniors enrolled. With the expansion of medical services, Brenda Fox, Executive Director, hopes to serve close to 30 every day.

“It’s a big jump for us,” Fox said. “It opens up all kinds of avenues.”

Fox said the renovated facility will have the opportunity to serve new groups of people including veterans and those whose insurance models wouldn’t allow for them to stay in a facility without medical observation available.

The new additions to the facility will include a treatment room and a nurse who will be able administer medication, some treatments, tube feedings and insulin shots.

Fox said her seasoned staff, whose job is their passion, is what sets them apart from other facilities in the area.

“With the Affordable Care Act, people are always looking for an alternative means for care and this is really good,” Nancee Berling, RN and Adult Day Care Director, said. “We have much more individual care and are much more cost effective (than other facilites).”

Fox said her program is meant to keep seniors out of the nursing home, but at the same time, let patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia have a structured environment.

She said seniors would live, on average, 2.5 years longer if he or she lives in a day care facility compared to a nursing home.

“This is a vital program in the community and there’s no other like it,” Fox said.

Fox said that the adult day care program allows seniors to be self-sufficient. Families can drop their senior off and know that they will get breakfast, lunch and a snack for a small per hour fee.

The adult day care facility is a non-profit that receives no funding from the state, according to Fox. Cost for the renovations will come from the agency’s cash reserves and donations.

Along with help from Metro United Way, KIPDA and the Oldham County Fiscal Court, the Tri-County Community Action Agency also assists with the Meals on Wheels program, which has four routes throughout Oldham County.

The program also has home care, which assists seniors with baths, shopping, homemaking and weatherization to decrease energy costs, to maintain their independence.

The facility also has a senior center that is home to a free gym, non-emergency transportation and a classroom for art and other occasional classes.

Renovations for the facility are expected to be complete by May 1 and permits and licensing should be complete by July 1, according to Fox.

Email us about this story at taylorriley@oldhamera.com.