For members of the sandwich generation – those caring for their own children and their aging parents – it can be difficult to balance the needs of both young and old – and still make time for themselves. That’s where GoldenBerry Adult Day Caring Center of Clinton Township comes into play.
After all, it can be especially tough when your elderly parent is getting to the point where he or she needs supervision during the day while you’re working.
In order to help ease this stress on families, the GoldenBerry Adult Day Caring Center provides medical and social services to the elderly in the community. In particular, it focuses on those with dementia or those who are unable to structure the day on their own.
“Our goal is to be the safety net for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to have this kind of care,” says Kevin Evans, director of Martha T. Berry Medical Care Facility – and who also serves as the executive director of the GoldenBerry Adult Day Caring Center.
Macomb County, Macomb Community Action, the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and Martha T. Berry collaborate to offer this service to the community. The facility officially opened in 1984, and it was rebranded and remodeled in late 2018.
“GoldenBerry focuses on a model of caring for adults who just need a little help during the day but enjoy staying home with their family and loved ones in the evenings,” Evans says. “It reduces the need for nursing homes. We know that many people can stay at home and stay closer to loved ones and the things they are familiar with – if we provide these kinds of services.”
“While these services are important for the elderly, they are equally vital for the people who care for them outside of this facility,” says Jane Yanez, the supervisor of resident and client services at GoldenBerry.
“We are really here for the caregivers,” she says, “to provide them with support and education along with that respite.”
A full day of care
Hours are flexible to meet the needs of caregivers. GoldenBerry Adult Day Caring Center is open from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. two Saturdays each month.
The facility is a home away from home where participants can receive medical attention as well as social interaction. “All my staff are certified nursing assistants and I’m a licensed social worker, so we are able to do a lot of hands-on care,” Yanez says.
In order to better serve participants, Yanez says she makes it a point to find out everything she can about the person’s background – including jobs they’ve had, pets, children and siblings.
By knowing this information, Yanez and her crew are able to use the details to help keep people calm when they are feeling anxious or agitated, which can be common for those with dementia.
GoldenBerry offers several opportunities for social interaction. “A lot of my participants are obviously older,” Yanez says. “They’ve lost a lot of their siblings or friends, and this is another place to come socialize with peers of their age.”
Cognitive-stimulating activities include 30 minutes of exercise, games such as bowling and golf, cooking activities and baking. Bingo is played at 3:30 p.m. daily. “Even if an attendee doesn’t actively participate, he or she still gets stimulation by listening and watching,” Yanez notes.
Music plays whenever an activity isn’t taking place. “Music is a nice way for folks to remember something from their past,” Yanez adds. “People with dementia don’t forget that music from when they were younger.”
If a participant isn’t feeling well, there is a bedroom for him or her to rest in. Showers also are offered for an extra fee.
“It’s pretty typical for patients with dementia to not like to get undressed and they don’t like to get wet,” Yanez says. “We’ve converted our shower area into a spa area with fluffy towels, scented lotions and music playing, so it’s much more pleasing than going into a sterile bathing area.”
As part of the remodel, the facility was painted dementia-conducive colors, Yanez says, such as light yellow and sage green.
“We were able to purchase more furniture for our movie and resting area, so I have lots of nice cushy recliners that are powered. Because after lunch, they are able to watch a movie or take a cat nap,” Yanez says.
Meals on Wheels provides lunches for participants. GoldenBerry also serves a morning and afternoon snack.
While most insurances do not cover this service, both Evans and Yanez note that the VA – or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – does pay 100 percent of the costs for veterans to attend. In addition, discounted rates are available for those who utilize this service multiple days each week. Additional assistance may be available through the Area Agency on Aging 1-B.
For more information on GoldenBerry Adult Day Caring Center, along with details regarding cost, call 586-469-5579.
To get additional details about Macomb County, visit the Make Macomb Your Home website.