As of 2020, over 19% of the population in Lenawee County was over 65 years old- higher than the national average. From a rich schedule of senior center activities to delivering hundreds of daily meals through Meals on Wheels, the Lenawee County Department on Aging has made it their mission to provide quality services, programs, and care to help older residents live with independence, dignity, and a spirit of support and community. Yet many still don’t know about one of their most vital services nestled in the Adrian Senior Center- Daybreak Adult Day Services.
Daybreak is an adult day program for older adults who are displaying age-related challenges and need a safe place to go during the day. Some participants have Alzheimer’s or dementia, but others may face challenges after a stroke or mobility issues and aren’t able to be left alone safely. Daybreak provides an affordable, enriching, and safe environment that not only gives participants a sense of independence and community, but helps their families balance the stress of caregiving by offering relief for full-time familial caregivers or helping defer an individual from nursing home care.
Serving Older Adults and Their Families
Adult day programs are a great resource for caregivers as full-time care can be extremely overwhelming and isolating for both the individual and the caregiver, especially if they aren’t able to leave the house often. Daybreak is a safe place that can allow caregivers to either continue working or the freedom to complete personal and household tasks that can be more challenging while caring for a loved one while providing a purpose and a destination for older adults who may be struggling to connect with others in a new time of their life. The program also relieves some stress on our nursing homes and other long-term care facilities because it means many adults are able to stay at home or with a loved one longer.
Participants are never alone while they are at Daybreak. At all times, they are either with an individual caregiver or a group of participants and caregivers. Directors create a schedule of programs and activities for each day, which may include a craft, game, gardening, or simply daily conversation with the group about news or memories. However, the schedule is extremely flexible, as the staff will adapt to participants’ interests to ensure they have enjoyable days while at Daybreak. Participants enjoy lunch from the senior center daily and sometimes will spend lunch with senior center members, especially if there is an additional event scheduled, such as a visiting band.
The Senior Center vs Daybreak
Lenawee County’s senior centers offer enjoyable and enriching activities for older adults and, in many ways, are very similar to Daybreak. Both facilities provide an opportunity for people to gather and find a community of similar people who support each other but Daybreak offers additional support for those who need a bit more care.
Daybreak is not a medical facility. However, the staff helps monitor the process of aging to ensure a participant and their family is getting all the support they need. There is also a nurse who can perform assessments and reviews for physicians and participants’ families.
While the senior center is an open facility where older adults may come and go as they please, Daybreak is provided to be secure. Participants and staff can absolutely visit and participate in activities with the senior center, but most times they are within the security of Daybreak, where doors are locked and alarmed so those who may be prone to wandering are unable to do so, offering an additional assurance to family members and caregivers of the participants.
Getting Your Loved One to Daybreak
Your loved one may receive a referral to Daybreak Adult Day Services from Community Mental Health, hospitals, or a physical therapist. When you reach out to Daybreak, the dedicated staff will first learn as much about the prospective participant as they can to ensure the program is the right for them and they will be able to provide the care they need. Then, the prospective participant and their family and/or caregivers will be invited for a tour of the facility where they can meet other participants, see a sample daily schedule, have lunch with the team, and decide if Daybreak is the right choice for them.
Providing Affordable Services
Caregiving can be a tremendous financial undertaking for a family. Daybreak is fortunate to be a grant provider under the Older Americans Act and with help from the Senior Millage and private contributions, the service is offered on a sliding scale fee based on the income of the individual or couple participating to support as many families and participants as possible.
Many caregivers face challenging decisions to allocate finances, time, and resources in as efficient of a way as possible while also providing great care for their loved one. For some, Daybreak is the solution for a full-time caregiver to find some relief but for others, it is a piece to a greater puzzle of nurses, family members, and facilities that work together to provide dynamic and cost-effective care for an individual.
Support Beyond Services
Daybreak is a wonderful resource for participants to be part of a community, but it’s also a supportive community of its own for caregivers. At Daybreak, family members and caregivers can find others who not only can empathize with the challenges of caregiving but offer a network of support for those who may need resources, answers, or help.
There are two caregiver support groups sponsored by Daybreak. The Navigators is a general caregiver support group that meets on the first and third Monday of every month and is designed for individuals who want to learn more, talk through their challenges, and find a community of others who truly understand the caregiving journey. There is also a men’s support group that meets on the first Friday of each month. Men don’t often find themselves in caregiver roles and may face additional challenges or need unique support that they can find within a community of other male caregivers.
To learn more about Daybreak’s adult day services and support groups, or to donate or volunteer with Daybreak, please contact the team at 517-266-2588.