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Jennings supports individuals through life’s changes and challenges with residences and services that emphasize choice and person-directed care.
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Where do you start when a family member has memory or physical challenges but still desires to live at home?
Many families begin searching for care options when they notice a physical or cognitive decline in a loved one. These changes can create safety risks at home and cause families to question what is best for their situation. Of the many choices available, adult day services offer a balance of helping an individual to stay at home as well as supporting family caregivers.
John Gazzuolo, Director of Adult Day Services at Jennings, explains that families - especially spouses - will often struggle with what to do when they are feeling overwhelmed, but still want to fulfill their commitment to care for their loved one. They don’t want to feel like they’re giving up. Adult children, who are providing more and more care to their aging parents, may struggle with role reversal, of becoming the caregiver for the person that supported them through much of their life.
Mr. Gazzuolo explains to families that adult day services are a good balance of activities, personal care and access to medical care in an environment where their loved ones are safe. The schedule provides stimulation for the adult participating while a spouse or family member can find time to relax or focus on other responsibilities such as work commitments. Additional services support the individual and relieve caregivers, such as the services of specialty physicians. Activities vary throughout the day for social, physical and cognitive stimulation and can be customized to individual interests as much as possible. Family members often remark that their loved ones who participate in adult day services are more relaxed in the evenings because they have spent the day in a positive, productive way. "It's fulfilling when participants come out of their shell because they are with their peers or engaged in activities," Mr. Gazzuolo says, and he recalls that "recently one of the participants seems to be brighter, sharper and happier. She's quick-witted and full of energy as she participates in activities."
Mr. Gazzuolo also finds that some families use adult day services as a bridge to consider assisted living or long-term care as their loved one's memory declines. He credits the stability of the Jennings staff, along with their knowledge and experience with dementia, for providing an enriching daily experience. Their consistent and compassionate relationships with participants help develop a long-term trusting foundation, especially as their needs change.
A typical day for participants can vary to some degree depending on the individual’s interests and needs. While families may pay privately for adult day services, there are benefits and community-based programs that can help. For additional information, call Jennings at (216) 581-2900.
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