Press released prepared by Caitlin Kerk – SAN JOSE, Calif., March 6, 2012
As the population ages, the issues around caring for older family members and loved ones will become even more critical. An estimated seven in 10 people who care for a family member (other than children) are employed, according to a 2009 National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP national caregiver survey. According to a 2010 MetLife study, of those who are employed, 6 in 10 reported having to make accommodations at work for their caregiving duties (such as going in late, leaving early, taking a leave of absence, or moving to part-time.)
To make life easier for working caregivers, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has extended the hours at its Day Break Cares Adult Day Care Center in Sunnyvale. The center is now open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Fees are reasonable, making it an affordable option for many local families.
“The extended hours came at a time when we really needed to take advantage of that option,” said Hal Judy, who lives and works in Sunnyvale. He first started taking his partner Mary to Day Break two years ago so she wouldn’t be home alone all day and could take advantage of the social interaction and activities offered at the center. Mary has Alzheimer’s disease. “I’m very pleased with the way things work there at Day Break and the care Mary gets.”
When the program ended at 3 p.m., Mary used a paratransit service to get home in the afternoon. But in the last six months, the disease progressed to the point where the driver was concerned about leaving her home alone and Judy agreed.
“We held focus groups with some of the caregivers we serve and learned that extended hours would really help those who work,” says Amy Andonian, Program Director for Catholic Charities’ Day Break Adult Care Services. “There aren’t many programs out there that accommodate working caregivers.”
The Day Break Cares Adult Day Care Center provides a range of socialization, recreation, and health promotion activities for older adults, including daily exercise, art and music therapy, reminiscing, games, gardening, and health screenings. Chinese and Vietnamese speakers are also available, making it a comfortable place for older adults and their families who speak those languages.
“The Day Break Cares Adult Day Care Center is a great place for Mary to be during the day and the extended hours have made life much easier for me,” Judy said. “I’m not ready to quit working, so this was a good solution.”
The Sunnyvale site is located in the First United Methodist Church at 535 Old San Francisco Road and is one of two Day Break Cares Adult Day Care Centers operated by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. The other site is at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in San Jose.
“Sunnyvale is a good location for the thousands of employees who work in Sunnyvale and the neighboring communities,” Andonian said. “Silicon Valley companies benefit by having this option available for their employees because caregiving can take a serious toll on the health and wellbeing of their employees. Having a place where your loved one can get the care they need while you are at work is a big relief for working caregivers.”
The Adult Day Care Centers are just one of a number of services for older adults offered through Catholic Charities’ Day Break Cares program. Day Break Cares also offers in-home care, caregiver education, caregiver support groups, and information and referral services.
For more information about the older adult care services provided by Catholic Charities’ Day Break Cares, visit www.daybreakcares.org.
To learn more about Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, visit www.CatholicCharitiesSCC.org.
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