Effingham County will have an adult day care at the United Way Effingham Service Center in the coming weeks.
The program is run through Senior Citizens Incorporated of Savannah, and it is an extension of the Ruth Byck Center.
It will be housed at the United Way Effingham Service Center and will specialize in working with adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
They will begin by opening on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., but will adjust to the needs of the community.
Senior Citizens Inc. currently runs adult daycares in Savannah and Hinesville.
“The clients that come in, in my experience, most of them are alert,” said Pat Worrell, the coordinator for the Hinesville center and also a registered nurse. “We have one or two who have some cognitive impairment. They’re pretty much alert and aware of what’s going on.”
She said she communicates with the client’s doctor to make sure they are complying with the regulations of the day care facility, which include a yearly checkup. She also deals with medications they may need to be administered on site.
“I monitor the health status and contact families or physicians and notify them what’s going on,” Worrell said.
She said the advantage to having a nurse on site is if a client becomes ill, she can contact the patient’s doctor and explain what is happening effectively.
Adults attending the facility participate in a variety of activities during the day. Clients will have a snack to start the six hours they are there, and there is also a “mini-devotional,” Worrell said.
“They like devotional,” she said.
They also work to stimulate circulation and get in some exercise.
“We’ll toss the ball,” Worrell said. “It’s good for their range of motion.”
She said word games are popular, along with bingo, bowling, bible trivia, word trivia and tic-tac-toe. Some afternoons they watch movies. She is currently working to contact groups that do pet therapy.
Worrell said since she came to the center in September she has not had the opportunity to have outdoor activities yet but looks forward to picnics and spending time in the yard.
“The day goes very fast,” she said.
As the calendar is created, she said the adults who attend the day care are asked for suggestions to put on the calendar. She said the center also celebrates holidays.
“We have parties for every holiday,” Worrell said. “They make things (and) we have a roundtable discussion, ‘what did you do with your children on the holidays.’”
She said she has been working with adults in a day care setting since the early 1980s.
“I’ve always worked with the elderly. I find it very rewarding to work with them,” she said. “A lot of people don’t pick this particular field. I’m better able to work with this age group. I can relate to them more, and you gain a lot of knowledge working with this population.”
Worrell said the benefits of a medical day care is it is a place for clients who have cognitive impairments to go when some centers wouldn’t have the ability to serve the needs of this clientele.
“I recognize when the client is ill. I know side effects of medication — most of the elderly community is on some form of medication,” Worrell said.
She said her medical background gives her the ability to notice changes in color that indicate a need to check blood pressure or listen to the heart or lungs. All of the aides are CPR certified, and have training to handle the needs of the clients as they arise.
“I am looking forward to getting started and helping the population out there,” Worrell said.
The center will open when the renovations to the space it will occupy at the service center are complete, and there are clients who are registered to participate.
Anyone interested in bringing a family member to the facility should call (912) 236-0363 ext. 143 for more information.