In 2011, we initiated a new program called “Day Friends” to serve residents of Polk County with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as well as traumatic brain injury. Since the May 2010 closing of The Haven program, which was provided by Polk County Human Services since 1994, residents of Polk County did not have any day respite program for individuals with memory loss.
Our Day Friends program has obtained Wisconsin state certification as an Adult Day Care program. This has allowed us to contract with organizations such as the Veterans Administration and our area’s state designated family care organization Community Link. We also contract with Polk County Adult Protective Services to serve their elderly clients who are at-risk and frail. We provide county-wide transportation for our participants in Day Friends which is vital for many of the family members who are caring for their loved one in their homes.
There are many families who are not eligible to receive services from the managed care organizations and are consequently self-pay. Although we offer a self-pay reduced rate (which includes meals and snacks), with an additional fee for round trip transport, many families are not able to afford to have their loved one in our program more than once or twice a month.
The primary philosophy and mission of the Day Friends Program is to add meaning and fullness to the lives of participants and their families. This will be accomplished through improved outcomes and quality of life for persons with dementia and memory loss. The care approach is person-centered, individualized and abilities-based. Person-centered care offers an opportunity to share their life stories and embrace their past, present and future in an environment where they feel safe, productive and appreciated.
Day Friends is a place where caring and trained staff provide a safe, secure and supportive environment with socialization and therapeutic activities. Day Friends also provides caregivers a respite from demanding responsibilities of caregiving.