GracePointe Crossing Senior Living Community Board of Directors has announced that the Adult Day Center (ADC), located at the Gables East Care Center, will close April 15.
Declining participation in the program by older adults and their families has made the ADC financially unsustainable. Fourteen persons are currently enrolled at the center of which an average of 5 attend daily compared to the budgeted participation of 12 or more needed daily to keep the program financially viable.
Molly Carlson, ADC Director, attributes the decline in participation to the downturn in the economy as she sees more families opt to care for aging loved ones at home.
“Older adults and families are not choosing adult day services as an option either due to assumptions about the expense or a lack of familiarity with the service,” she said.
Carlson said that current and past participants have been satisfied with the quality of service the center offers.
“We’ve had individual participants for 10 years or more,” she said. “All the people who moved out of the program did so because they needed long-term care or they passed away. No one left because they were dissatisfied.”
Even so, Carlson agrees that there have been too few new participants to keep the program solvent.
“We’ve done everything we can to reach out to the community and let folks know we’re here,” she said. “But until a family needs care service, they just don’t think about ADC as an option.”
The ADC was opened in 1994 by Grandview Christian Ministries and was housed at First Baptist Church in Cambridge. At that time, it functioned more like a social center where seniors would come for lunch, visit with friends and engage in activities for the afternoon. The purpose was to help people stay independent and remain in their own homes by giving them good nutrition, socialization and activities to keep them physically and mentally fit.
Over time, the ADC evolved into respite care for seniors with physical and cognitive limitations who could not safely stay at home without supervision, or who lived with working adult children.
More recently participants have entered the program older and frailer and they don’t remain as long.
Carlson has been notifying and consulting with the remaining participants and their families to assist them in finding alternative care arrangements and transition out of the program with as little disruption as possible.
Carlson admits that closing at a time when the older adult population is growing in the Cambridge area will leave older adults and their families with fewer options.
The six employees of the ADC have been notified of the closing. GracePointe Crossing and Presbyterian Homes & Services are making every effort to place employees in positions at GracePointe Crossing or within another PHS senior living community.