By Ron VandenBoom
Northern Montana Care Center (NMCC)) is reaching out to fill the needs of caregivers and elderly alike by offering Senior Day Services.
Senior Day Services is designed to provide hourly or daily care for seniors in an environment where their physical and emotional needs can be met, said Lori Henderson, Northern Montana Care Center administrator.
The service also provides a benefit to the caregiver in that they can get a temporary break from the responsibility of caring for their elderly loved one while still feeling confident they are being cared for, Henderson said. She went on to say that similar day care like programs have been tried with great success around the country.
Caregivers will initially be able to drop their loved one off for several hours or a full day of care with the Care Center's long term goal being to offer care for several days or a week at a time, Henderson said.
The Care Center provides the senior with his or her own room, bathing facilities, hair-care services, social experiences, activities, religious services, and meals or snacks. There may be an extra charge for some of the services.
Henderson said the day services experience can also help to acclimate the senior with the care facility and the people that work and live there. The benefit according to Henderson, is that the fear of the care center environment many seniors have can be reduced or eliminated. This will eventually allow the senior to make the transition more easily when and if the time comes when they are admitted as a full time resident.
Four rooms have been set aside for the program and the Assisted Living Staff will be in charge of providing the care for the Day Service Program. Each room will be exclusive to the client during the time they are scheduled.
The room can also be modified to meet the specific needs and preferences of the client, Henderson said, noting that some clients might prefer a recliner to a bed in the room.
Henderson said they would prefer a few short-term clients to begin with so the staff can see how it goes.
"Because we've never done this program before ... and we just want to make sure everybody is well suited," Henderson said.
Cost of the service will start somewhere between $8 and $10 per hours with daily rates available.
Henderson noted that Medicaid has a waver program that can help defray the cost of some of the service and some long-term care insurance might also pay for the service.
NMCC staff can assist in the client in applying for these benefits, Henderson said.
A registration form, interview, and personal tour must also be completed before acceptance into the program, Henderson said.
Anyone interested in more information on the program can call 262-1900 or drop by the NMCC and speak with Henderson.