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Adult Day Center Reports on Year 1

Posted on Friday, January 16th, 2015

New Agencies Meeting Special Needs of Seniors, Women

First-Year Reports: Bruce Hammond spoke about Mercy Love County Adult
Day Center and Judy Cavnar and Shannon Hall spoke about Destiny Recovery
Center ot the January meeting of the Love County Community Coalition.

The dynamic leaders of two new helping facilities in the area gave progress reports on their first year of operation as guest speakers of the Love County Community Coalition on January 5.

Bruce Hammond, director, reported on the hospital-owned Mercy Love County Adult Day Center and Family Services at 200 Wanda St., Marietta.

Judy Cavnar, board chair, and Shannon Hall, residence manager, told about Destiny Recovery Center, a 13-bed women's sober living facility at 1004 Republic Street, Ardmore.

Adult Day Center Attracts Grant Funding for Participants

Mercy Love County Adult Day Center and Family Services, one block south of the hospital, celebrated its first anniversary on January 12.

The center offers non-residential day care. This is a new concept for "aging-in-place" or helping people who can no longer manage independently or are isolated or lonely to enhance and extend their quality of life at home.

Service are for seniors and other adults who are mobile (to include cane, walker, or wheelchair) and would benefit from the various social and supportive service at the center.

A visit to the center is a refreshing and enjoyable break for participants who would otherwise be homebound or require another adult at home to help them with their daily needs.

Services include breakfast, lunch, snacks, and assistance with medication or the activities of daily living. Participants pursue hobbies, games, gardening, movies, TV, field trips, and socializing. There is an enclosed sun porch, and recliners for napping.

The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekndays. Participants pay a day rate or qualify for the many sources of financial aid that can substantially reduce their fees, sometimes to $0.

Hammond said the center adjusted its business model after learning in the first year that lots of baby boomers need day services but not all seniors have the money to pay a daily rate.

"There are numerous sources of federal and state funding to serve senior adults or medically frail adults, to keep them at home and out of a nursing home. We have tapped into those funding source and are now able to pay toward the care of most of our day center participants."

Hammond said grants have come from the Department of Human Services, Developmental Disabilities Service, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Advantage, Long Term Care, and Veterans Administration.

Another expressed need was for transportation. "We bought a van, and we have contracted with SORTS to pick up clients needing wheelchair lifts. Our transportation services extend to Love County, Marshall County, and Carter County."

Hammond said the center employs an office manager, registered nurse, and three CNAs.

"Our state licensure doesn't require us to have CNAs but we do it because we want to offer the medical assistance and the assistance with personal needs, like showering, that participants may require. We also take participants to their appointments for physical therapy, occupational therapy, or doctor's care at the clinic," Hammond said.

"It's a joy," Hammond summed up about the Adult Day Center. "We get close to the participants. As we're playing dominoes or beanbag toss, they begin to discuss their past and their family. We learn a lot from them."

On the Family Services side, Hammond, an LPC in training, does individual and family couseling for the public and also wll have a caregivers support group for patrons of the Adult Day Center.

He invited inquiries at 276-1542.

Destiny Recovery Center Helping Women Stay Sober

Destiny Recovery Center opened in August, providing transitional living for women in the early stages of recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. Women self-refer or are referred upon exit from the treatment centers or penal agencies, including the Department of Corrections.

The stays are open-ended. "Residents stay as long as they want. We hope at least 90 days. They go to traetment for 30 days before coming in," Cavnar said.

"They do community service, pay any fines or child support, get a job, pay $600 a month rent (includes meals), have a curfew, random drug tests or breathalyzers, practice the 12-step recovery program at the house and in a community group, and gradually transition to living on their own."

Residents receive a weekend pass after 30 days to leave the faciity on their own or see family members. Children visit their mothers at the residence. Each resident has her own sleeping quarter.

Three of the initial residents enrolled in college, with one earning all A's. "We promote education. It's where the difference will be made. To educate a women is to educate her family," Cavnar said.

Hall, the residence manager, holds a degree in human services counseling. "We provide training in life skills, interpersonal skills, grooming, and cooking nutritious meals. Some residents entered prison soon out of adolescence and have not exprienced living on their own."

Hall invited volunteers with skills to teach to contact the residence at 798-4421.

The duo touted the referral skills of the center. "We are a dynamite referral resource. Anyone needing information about detoxification and treatment centers within a 200 mile radius, or information on substance abuse is welcome to call us," Cavnar said.

Cavnar reitred after 20 years as a Health Department social worker. She is past president of the board of Broadway House, a men's sober living facility, and past vice president of Naomi House, a faith-based shelter for women in recovery.

"The need for substance abuse and re-entry programs is escalating," Cavnar said, citing statistics showing that 40% of arrests statewide (60% in Love County) are for substance abuse, and the rate of imprisonment for women (most tied to substance offenses) is highest in the nation, with sentences more severe than for men committing similar offenses.

"We need more places like Destiny, and more that will accept children," Cavnar said.