Like many of us, Friday is Joy’s favorite day of the week.
That’s because she gets to be a “grandpal” to the the kids visiting Country Side Living.
Joy has dementia and has been a part of “Thelma’s Place” for four months.
Thelma’s Place is an adult day program that aims to socialize those in need of constant care. It specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
More importantly, it provides their caregivers with a way to care for themselves.
Sandy Short has been looking after Joy for four years…and says Thelma’s place has been a huge support.
“It gives me the break that I need to be able to get the things done that I need to do, and it gives Joy a really safe place to come and enjoy her day,” Sandy said.
Aside from lots of arts and crafts and morning walks, Sandy says what Joy looks forward to most is spending time with the kids across the hall.
Country Side Living also offers a child daycare program called Whoopsy Daisy.
More often than not, the daycare becomes multi-generational.
Bringing the older and younger guests together for some fun and taking some stress off of caregivers along the way.
“We lose caregivers at a faster rate than we do the people that they’re caring for a lot of the time,” said Tiffani Schwarm, outreach coordinator. “There’s so much stress involved with caring for somebody, and we want to be here as a resource for people. Not only the caregivers, which is a big target of ours, but also the people that they’re caring for.”
Schwarm says the multi-generational program benefits everyone involved.
Kids develop a sense of empathy and compassion for their grandpals, while those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia can stimulate memories and experience familiarity and comfort.
“She really enjoys spending time with the younger kids and reading stories and books to them, and them reading stories and books to her,” Sandy said. “It gives her a positive feel and something to look forward to.”
Even as Sandy works her hardest to care for Joy, sometimes she needs that extra support to get through the day.
“It’s just such a relief. It’s just such a relief to know that she’s safe and well taken care of,” she said.