Caring for an older loved one in need of constant care can be draining both mentally and physically. Currently, there are approximately 554,573 Iowan's aged 60 and over, nearly one-fifth of the state of Iowa’s 2,926,327 residents. One out of every four households in Iowa is providing care for an older family member. Iowa ranks second in the nation in the percent of population aged 85 and older and ranks fourth in the nation aged 60 and over.
Beckwith Family Adult Day Services of Boone County Hospital opened its doors in September 2004 to fill a need in the community for a program that would provide care and assistance to adults who are not ready for nursing home care. The program is for individuals who do not need 24-hour care, but who cannot be left alone for long periods of time.
The Beckwith staff sees participants ages 18 and up with a wide-range of illnesses or disabilities ranging from insulin dependence to Alzheimer’s. Services are provided Monday through Friday. Individuals can attend the program for part of a day, all day or on an as-needed basis.
“We are a state certified program that allows each adult to remain living more independently in the community through the use of supportive services,” says Kris Kvach, RN, Beckwith Family Adult Day Services Supervisor. “We abide by and base our caregiving on ‘The Golden Rule’.” She adds, “Our program is strongly activity-driven. We want our particpants to have fun and enjoy coming here. We also want them to feel like they belong and are a part of our family.” Participants can enjoy socializing, take part in therapeutic and recreational activities, improve or maintain their independence, exercise, eat nutritious meals and snacks, be creative, and receive mental, social and emotional support, as well as individualized attention.
“We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for each individual participant,” says Kris. “The staff works together as a team to ensure a safe environment and encourages positive feelings of dignity and self worth.” Staff provides the greatest possible quality of life for each participant and family member by maximizing the individual’s potential strengths and skills.
Jo Ann Jensen from Boone gives praise to Beckwith Family Adult Day Services. Her husband Harvey took part in the program for over a year until he needed 24 hour care and was transferred to the Stratford Care Center in the Fall of 2006. Harvey has dementia and after several years of taking care of him and being up with him off and on through the night, Jo Ann was exhausted and knew she needed some help. “After a couple of months of participating at Beckwith Family Adult Day Services, Harvey loved it,” says Jo Ann. “He would say, ‘I think that place I go to is good for me.’” Jo Ann says Harvey referred to Beckwith as his work. “He knew he didn’t get paid to go. He went because he enjoyed every minute of it,” she says. Two things Harvey liked most about the program were the fun activities and the girls that worked there. Even though Harvey didn’t like playing cards at home, the girls at Beckwith always got him to play cards and enjoy it. He also enjoyed the other participants and the children that would come over to visit from the day care center on the other side of the building. “I do not feel sending Harvey to the day service program was a big expense,” says JoAnn. “It helped me out in so many ways. And, I feel it kept Harvey out of the nursing home that much longer.”
“For caregivers, friends and family members, our services can give peace of mind that the loved one is safe and well cared for,” says Kris. “We also provide them a respite from taking care of a loved one, assistance in developing a care plan, help in monitoring the participants health and well-being, and referrals to other health and community services.
If you are considering Beckwith Family Adult Day Care Services of Boone County Hospital for your loved one, ask yourself the following questions: Is he/she unable to provide him/herself with a structure for daily activities? Is he/she isolated from others for more than a few hours a day and misses companionship? Can he/she not be left alone at home to due to safety concerns? Does he/she live with someone who works outside the home or needs regular time away from home for other reasons?
To find out more about Beckwith Family Adult Day Services, contact Kris Kvach, RN, Supervisor, at (515) 432-2275.