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LRMC hopes to open adult day care center

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POSTED: June 24, 2009 9:46 a.m.
Area senior citizens haven’t been forgotten. Liberty Regional Medical Center is planning to open an adult day care center.
And the go-ahead from the Liberty County Hospital Authority last week follows the county commission last month switching from Coastal Community Action Agency to Senior Citizen’s Inc. in hopes of providing more services to the elderly.
Seniors, especially the rising number of Alzheimer’s patients, should appreciate more attention and visiting with each other, according to LRMC’s long-term care facility director Elise Stafford.
“They wouldn’t be sitting down, just watching TV,” Stafford said. “It will be a productive time for them to feel useful.”
The daycare just needs a building to get started.
“We can’t move forward until we identify we have a place to serve people in,” Stafford said.
Authority member Jim Thomas asked if there was enough local need for a center.
“Proof of need is not necessary,” Stafford said. “The regulations to this are so minor compared to a nursing home environment.”
A licensed practical nurse would need to be available to dispense medication, but that person wouldn’t have to stay all day.
“It can mainly be run by activity aides… It would be a matter of training additional ones,” Stafford said.
Rather than hunting for available space, Thomas suggested making a build-to-lease proposal to a developer.
“And they would do that very quickly because of the market,” Thomas said.
“If we could do something like that, on our campus, that would be my preference,” Stafford said.
Several acres are still available at the Ludowici site.
“It probably won’t interfere with the long-range plan of assisted living,” said LRMC CEO Scott Kroell.
Stafford added those who qualified for Medicaid would be eligible for transportation to and from the day care.
“I would think the transportation issue is one of the more minor issues,” said Will Darsey. “This is a win-win situation.”
Darsey suggested extending hours to 6 or 7 p.m.
Many seniors already use Coastal Manor nursing home in Ludowici like an activity center, according to Stafford, who sees several seniors come to participate in their daily activities, games and crafts while their caregivers run errands.
She said the day care would be just like the nursing home, except the seniors go home every night.
“It becomes a transition,” Stafford said. “They can stay home longer, in their own environment, and they’re just going out for a field trip every day.”
And Stafford foresees getting seniors from Wayne and Long counties.
Thomas said there is funding available through Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center and said he would set Kroell up with a meeting with a representative.
 

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