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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / ADC2 /  Editorial List

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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an extremely gregarious man and the lack of social stimulation was taking its toll as he became more depressed and withdrawn.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 day.

Adult Day Care to the Second Power = ADC2, where you win and your loved one wins. Now, that’s math even I can appreciate.



Gary Barg

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