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A Caregiver Finds Help at Willow Brook By Day

Caregiver Angela (left) and Sally Gallant, Director of Willow Brook by Day

When Angela’s mother developed Alzheimer’s, Angela faced a quandary. She and her father wanted to keep her mother at home, but they struggled with balancing all of the responsibilities. They knew they needed support, but what exactly?

It’s a question faced by many families. More than 5.6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, most of them over 65. Not only that, millions of caregivers are responsible for a frail adult. These caregivers need daytime support so they can work, take care of their families and juggle other duties.

Angela found the help she needed at Willow Brook by Day, an adult day care center located at Willow Brook Christian Village in Delaware. Angela also landed a rewarding job at the center and feels lucky to provide care not just to her mother, but to many others. She tells her story here.

Q:  What is your mother’s health situation?

A: We first noticed her memory loss in 2011, and by 2013, we realized someone needed to be home with her always.  She was progressing towards the advanced stages of dementia and needed supervision and help with activities of daily living. She was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Q:  How did you decide to try adult day care?

A: It was clear that my mother needed more stimulation and socialization, so my father and I found a day center in Dublin, but it ended up closing.  In 2016, we came to Willow Brook by Day, and the transition was seamless. She attends half-days Monday through Friday.

Q: How is your mother benefiting? 

A: Mom is very much into the music programs and is always singing along. She enjoys the Tai Chi and chair yoga, too. Coming here gives her a routine. She loves starting her day with a cup of hot chocolate, and she likes the meals.  She comes home excited to share her day.

Q:  When did you start working at Willow Brook by Day?

A: I chose to leave my job at Ohio State because of the long commute. When by chance I saw an opening for the receptionist position at the day center, I applied and was excited when I was hired on. I love greeting our clients when they come in and I also keep records and support the director. I work until noon so I can take my mother home. It’s a great situation.

Q:  What do you like about your job?

A: I’ve never been happier. I can see how much the program benefits our clients. They make new friends and enjoy all kinds of activities like pet therapy, exercise, art and music. Our programs engage the mind, body and spirit.  And the staff are happy and engaged.

Q:  How do your father and other caregivers benefit from the day center?

A: It gives my father a few hours to himself. In fact, the day center gives peace of mind to all of our caregivers. They know their loved one is in a happy, positive environment. One of the best benefits is that adult day care can help to keep your loved one at home as long as possible. It’s an essential program in Delaware.

Willow Brook by Day is designed to give elderly, chronically ill and disabled adults daytime attention, socialization, stimulation and support so they can return home in the evening. The center is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For information, call Sally Gallant at Willow Brook at 740-369-5447. To learn more about adult day care and tips for choosing a program, visit this resource page: Adult Day Care Tips.

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