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Adult Day Center Offers Options for Aging Veterans

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Tags: Families, Minneapolis Veterans Home

Kari Anderson

Adult Day PictureThe Adult Day Center, located in Minneapolis along the beautiful banks of the Mississippi River, offers Veterans a daily retreat to socialize with other Veterans. But even more importantly, it also allows them to keep their independence by continuing to live in their own home.

The Adult Day Center is a great opportunity for Veterans who do not need full-time care, and for families who need a little help taking care of their loved one.

Ulissa Evans, a program assistant at the facility says, “the center gives [Veterans] a sense of independence, and also gives them a social life and a chance to be around fellow Veterans.” Evans added that she has seen tremendous positive changes in many of the Veterans’ energy levels and attitudes since their first day at the center.

Upon arrival you get a very home-like feeling. The beautiful red brick exterior and wonderfully renovated interior provides a calming feeling and makes it feel like home. The center is located in a historic building, so renovations were made following historic guidelines to preserve the building’s 19th century charm.

In addition to the beautiful facilities, Veterans are provided with a wide variety of health care services. Many of the Veterans suffer from dementia or mobility issues, which is why it is so important that the staff is comprised of registered nurses to ensure they receive the best possible care. The equipment at the facility is extremely helpful to the families. The handicap whirlpool tub for bathing assists with hygiene, which is often extremely difficult for family members to assist with, and mental and physical therapists on staff help Veterans with other health-related issues.

In addition to helping the Veterans, the center is also assisting their caregivers.

All of the spouses explained how simple daily tasks can be a struggle when they are also serving as a full-time caregiver at home. Sue Gonzalez says when her husband is at the center; she can get out of the house and run errands, have lunch with friends, or take care of things while not having to worry about her husband. The Adult Day Center has improved the family’s quality of life as well as the Veterans by allowing the wives time to accomplish these things. While the spouses are away taking care of personal errands, Veterans are able to participate in various activities at the Home, like fishing, karaoke, cooking and card games.

All of the spouses have expressed their appreciation and gratitude for what the center has done for their families. Marilyn Star, a spouse of one of the Veterans says, “It’s given us our life back.” She describes that before the center most of her time was devoted to caring for Ron, but thanks to the Adult Day Center, she is allowed time to herself and says, “We appreciate our time together more now.”

Since joining the Adult Day Center, Mary Brown says “Ralph really enjoys coming here, and I enjoy bringing him”, she describes her husband as “much happier” and says that she can tell his spirits have lifted since attending the program. She goes on to say, “the program has changed our lives.”

The Adult Day Center can have up to 35 Veterans a day, and does currently have openings.

For more information on the Adult Day Center, please visit the Adult Day Center page on the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Listen to the Adult Day Center segment on Minnesota Military Radio.

Watch a feature story about the Adult Day Center from KSTP


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