BATAVIA - For Barbara Webster, the Elderday Center in Batavia has been a blessing.
She's caretaker of her 72-year-old husband, Dave, who has suffered from Alzheimer's disease for about two years. He has been attending the Elderday Center since September 2012.
Elderday Center, 328 W. Wilson St. - located in the Bethany Ministry building of Bethany Lutheran Church, provides supervised adult day programming for seniors to enhance socialization, increase activity and wellness, and provide respite services to caregivers. Seniors with dementia or depression particularly benefit from the stimulation provided at Elderday Center.
“You need a respite from being a caretaker and that's where Elderday Center has been so wonderful,” Webster said.
Elderday Center opened in 1990 and has been located in St. Charles, Geneva and now Batavia for about 10 years. The nonprofit offers socialization to reduce loneliness, depression, and isolation; exercise and recreation which can slow memory loss and maintain physical health; group and individual activities; meals and snacks; and professional supervision for those with dementia.
“What our program offers is a chance for seniors to exercise their brains as much as they can for as long as they can,” said Executive Director Traci Eggleston. “We're of the 'use it or lose it' mentality.” At Elderday Center, the day is filled with games, exercise, socialization and other activities. Eggleston said participation at the Elderday Center has reduced depression among those who visit regularly.
“These are people who normally would be sitting at home watching TV all day,” she said, adding socialization is a huge benefit of the Elderday Center's programs. “It becomes like family. It gives them a sense of belonging.”
Activities to fill the day include everything from parties for the holidays, like a recent St. Patrick's Day party, to bowling and Baggo, arts and crafts with young visitors from the Batavia Nursery School and playing Jeopardy in the afternoons.
“Everything we chose to do has a therapeutic component to it,” Eggleston said.
Weekly, Elderday Center serves 30 local seniors, but has the capacity to serve 35 seniors every day. It is recommended that participants attend a minimum of two days a week for five hours each day. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm.The cost is $11 per hour.
Webster said the Elderday Center has been wonderful for both her husband and herself. While he gets some socialization and activities, she gets some alone time to take care of herself and recharge, to make sure she is the best caretaker possible when the two are together.
“I take care of myself because then I can take better care of Dave,” she said.
Webster said her husband now looks forward to visiting Elderday Center and getting to see the friends he's made.
“He wakes up in a better mood knowing he's going to socialize,” she said. He attends Elderday Center four days each week for about seven hours a day.
“This is just wonderful for the place he's in right now, where he doesn't need full time care in a residence.”
Caregiver counseling also is available through the center. Caregivers do not have to utilize Elderday's adult daycare services to qualify for this service. For more information on Elderday Center, or to make a donation, visit www.elderdaycenter.org or call (630) 761-9750.