FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN / ADC2
My grandfather went back to work at the
tender age of 88, and it saved his life.
No, it was not a fifth career for this
energetic octogenarian, who had been a painting contractor,
Seabee in WWII, home builder and artist. Gramp’s new job was
actually more a state of mind than a 9 to 5 grind.
Gramp had been living with dementia for
the past few years and was being cared for at home. We had
taken him to visit a few excellent Adult Day Care (ADC)
centers, but he let us know, in no uncertain ways, that he
was not interested. The problem was that Gramp was still an
extremely gregarious man and the lack of social stimulation
was taking its toll as he became more depressed and
withdrawn. It was only when one intuitive ADC administrator
spoke to Gramp of the center being his new workplace did he
show enthusiasm for being away from home during the day.
From that day on, Gramp would eagerly
await the bus which took him to ‘work.” In his new job role,
he would help teach art classes. Gramp also found a new
group of friends (not to mention a new girlfriend) with whom
he spent the day, talking, coloring, singing and, to our
everlasting appreciation, laughing.
This story is one reason that I am an
advocate of Adult Day Care, am proud to serve on the board
of trustees for NADSA (National Adult Day Services
Association) and that we will be holding a major session on
Adult Day Care during next week’s
Los Angeles Fearless Caregiver Conference. I know that
ADC brought joy and meaning back to my grandfather’s life,
as I know that it helped my mom use the time Gramp was at
the center to start to care for herself once again.
If you are hesitating using Adult Day
Care as a caregiving tool because you feel you would be
failing your loved one by them being away from you for a few
hours a day, nothing could be further from the truth.
Besides, nothing personal, but maybe they would want to
spend some time away from you for a few hours during the
Adult Day Care to the Second Power = ADC2,
where you win and your loved one wins. Now, that’s math even
I can appreciate.