Family Service offers Adult Day Care Center

JUST?WHEN some adults reach the age when they think they are done dealing with day care issues, they find they must begin again with their own parents.

But there is help close at hand at the Adult Day Care Center through Family Service of the Upper Ohio Valley, at 51-11th St., Wheeling.

Shirley A. Sisarcick, RN, BSN, director of Adult Day Care and In Home Services, has just completed her first year leading the facility. She brings nearly 40 years of nursing experience from her work at Wheeling Hospital.

Clients at the Adult Day Care Center typically have Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia. They must be able to walk or use a walker, toilet and feed themselves, Sisarcick said. Currently, there are 11 clients at the center, but the facility can accommodate 30.

The clients are served a light breakfast, a full lunch and an afternoon snack. Beverages are available throughout the day.

Care is offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Transportation to the center is available, but is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, she said. The hourly fees are calculated on a sliding scale based only on the client’s income. “It’s a very inexpensive service,” Sisarcick said.

Family Service is a member agency of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley. United Way funds, grant monies and donations from the community help to pay for the day care services.

“If the United Way didn’t fund us, we couldn’t exist,” Sisarcick said. “It’s a needed service in our area, and I really enjoy doing it.”

Sisarcick said the most important part of the care provided is to offer activities that will “help stimulate and keep the mind functioning.”

“We do crafts and activities, sing-a-longs, exercises,” she said. “Our clients decorate lunch bags for the home-bound program that delivers close to 70 meals a day. They make gift tags from recycled greeting cards. We do a lot of math work sheets. We find out what interests each client and see what we can get them involved in individually, as well as group activities. We have some clients who love to sing, and some love to dance. We take them upstairs to the Viola Senior Center to dances and other functions there, as long as it’s within our building.”

The center has a library of audio tapes and CDs that can be played throughout the day, or the staff tunes in a radio station that is appropriate.

“If someone would like to entertain, or if a music teacher would like to bring in students for a sing-a-long or caroling, we’re open to that,” Sisarcick said.

The facility is kept secure with alarms on all doors and a locked elevator. Each half hour the staff conducts a physical head count.

When Sisarcick joined Family Service and the Adult Day Care Center, she did make some physical changes in the layout. She and In-Home Care Coordinator Sandy Dominguez, along with Dominguez’s husband, painted the center in warm colors. The

agency had new drapes and carpeting installed. Storage units were rearranged to provide more space around the large dining table and to open up a wall.

“It brightened it up so much,” Sisarcick said. “We wanted a bright, calm family-like place.”

In addition to the Adult Day Care Center, Family Service also offers FAIR Family Alzheimer In-Home Respite care, Sisarcick said. Clients can have up to 16 hours of in-home respite care. “This gives the client’s caregiver an opportunity to be out of the house to run errands or have some free time,” she explained.

Anyone wanting more information on the Adult Day Care Center, FAIR, or other Family Service programs, may call Sisarcick at 304-232-6730.

Photo Provided

Esther Grimm, seated left, Tom Bresnaham and Marjorie Lekanidis, seated right, are among the clients who enjoy a range of activities at the Adult Day Care Center operated by Family Service of the Upper Ohio Valley.