Adult Day Break program provides social respite for caregivers

Loretta Schroeder of Braham shows off a stained glass hummingbird painting.
Loretta Schroeder of Braham shows off a stained glass hummingbird painting.

An adult day program through Family Pathways gives area caregivers much needed time to go grocery shopping or run other errands.

Adult Day Break is non-medical day program for seniors that’s funded through donations, grants and the Family Pathways thrift stores. The program is held twice a month in Braham, Dalbo, Rush City, Pine City and Lindstrom, and is offered free of charge to registered participants.

Lisa Wood, senior services activities coordinator with Family Pathways, explained the program accepts clients that have moderate to first-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and some cognitive disabilities. All clients must be able to feed and use the toilet themselves, and take their own medication.

Seniors meet at local churches in the area at 10 a.m. with coffee and a light snack. Each senior is paired with a volunteer as they participate in hands-on activities such as making snow globes or painting stained glass art. There’s also lunch, light exercise, bowling, horseshoes, bean bags, ring toss or bingo. The day ends at 2 p.m.

Wood realizes the importance of giving caregivers a break once in a while. Those few hours mean time to go grocery shopping, visit the doctor or just take a bit of a break.

The program has been very beneficial for Cambridge resident Gordon Schroeder, 81. He’s been bringing his wife Loretta Schroeder, 81, to the Braham program for the past two years. She was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years ago.

“If you are acquainted with the disease Alzheimer’s, it requires a 24/7, 365 attention,” Gordon Schroeder said. “The two sessions that she goes to with Family Pathways are a blessing in disguise, really, because it gives me four hours of an opportunity to do some things I can’t do (otherwise).”

The program allows his wife to participate in activities that he doesn’t have the ability to do with her, such as crafts, he added. The two have been together since the fifth-grade, he said, and will celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary next month.

Light exercise is part of the Adult Day Break program.
Light exercise is part of the Adult Day Break program.

They are one of the many couples that participate in the free program around the area. Wood explained once a home-visit has been completed, the senior is welcome as long as they continue to attend the program.

The most recent location is in Rush City, but the Braham location has been around for about five years, Wood said.

For more information on the Adult Day Break program, contact Wood at 320-364-1115 or email her at [email protected]