Adult day centers provide a home away from home for the elderly and disabled

Adult Day centers offer family members a break which allows them to maintain full-time jobs or run errands, or just relax.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 8:05 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Being responsible for the safety and well-being of an elderly or disabled loved one can take a toll on family members but adult day centers can offer some relief.

The Adult Day Center of the Black Hills offers a home away from home for the elderly and disabled, allowing people to socialize and participate in activities while giving their caretakers a break during the day.

Lisa Westlake’s mother has Alzheimer’s. Westlake says using the day center offers peace of mind that her mother is being cared for.

“So, when my mom is someplace other than with me, I know she’s getting something that she needs as well I’m getting something I need which is a break. As a full-time caregiver, a break is so valuable to me to have a few hours during the day when businesses are open, and I can get to them,” said Westlake.

For Martha Anderson, the Adult Day center helps with the physical needs of her husband who had a stroke and needs assistance with his hygienic needs.

“That required myself and another person to go and physically manhandle the chair into our shower and it’s just not as accessible as it needs to be. So, physically it was a strain on us but also then it’s expensive to go privately,” added Anderson.

The Adult Day Center of the Black Hills is one of three state-registered centers in South Dakota that receive Medicaid reimbursement, meaning these services are limited.

But a bill introduced in the state house could change this.

Known as House Bill 1078, it aims to provide funding to “support the development and expansion of adult day services programs that serve adults living with dementia, or symptoms in alignment with dementia”.

“Adult day centers are not easily run, and we also are not reimbursed well by the state so it’s hard to stay above water sometimes. So, having that House Bill 1078 be approved it would just allow us a little bit of breathing room so, that we are not under so much pressure, and we can even think about expansion,” said Melanie Barclay, executive director with Adult Day Center of the Black Hills.

If it passes, House Bill 1078 would provide a total of $5 million in funding for adult day services, state-wide.