Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Aging Frustrations Fuel Growth of Adult Day-Care

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Aging Frustrations Fuel Growth of Adult Day-Care

Article excerpt

KETTERING, Ohio -- By any measure, Debbie Brueckman has given up a lot to care for her ailing, elderly parents.

Brueckman's mother has Alzheimer's disease. When her father recently suffered a stroke, Brueckman and her husband sold their home and moved in with her parents to care for them.

She also gave up her job as circulation supervisor at a library - - a job she loved -- to devote her time and energy to her parents. "It's a 24-hour-a-day-type thing," she said. "I can't leave without having somebody in the home." Brueckman's mother needs help to bathe and eat. Brueckman placed her in a nursing home, but pulled her out because she was not getting adequate care and was losing weight. She also was at times the target of her father's frustrations. He was depressed after losing 50 percent of his vision because of his stroke. Brueckman needed a break from her grueling routine, but she knew that hiring a home companion would be too expensive. Then she discovered elder day-care, a service that's helping both elderly people and their at-home caregivers. Workers from the privately run Deerfield Senior Services pick up Brueckman's parents in the morning at their New Carlisle home and drive them 25 miles to a center in this Dayton suburb. At the end of the day, they are driven home. The sprawling, smartly furnished center features an exercise area, library, dining room and workshop. A number of activities such as painting, singing and baking are available. Field trips are offered, and experts are brought in to speak on selected topics. At first, Brueckman said, her father fiercely resisted the idea of elder day-care. "He was livid about going," Brueckman recalled. "I think he thought it was going to be a nursing-home-type atmosphere." His first visit changed his mind. He was able to exercise and got some expert advice on gardening, a favorite hobby. "He was disappointed he could not stay," said Brueckman. "It was an unbelievable turnaround. …

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