Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Need A Grant To Start An Adult Daycare?

Is it possible to get a grant to start an adult daycare service or business?

The answer is yes.

For example in one city, a grant was used to provide start-up money for its area adult day care program. So when more funding money was needed it made sense to look to this grant program again for monies to construct a new facility to provide day treatment for victims in the middle to advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease with a new adult daycare unit. The Adult Day Care division of the City's Department of Senior Services had come to the realization that treatment of middle to advanced Alzheimer' s victims could not take place in a standard geriatric day care setting.

Statistics had shown an alarming escalation of clients afflicted with Alzheimer's disease -- a direct correlation with the national data on this. At present, there are an estimated four million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's. In Rhode Island alone, there are approximately 25,000 Alzheimer's patients. It is estimated that by 2050, 14 million people over the age of 65 will suffer from this disease -- over 75,000 of them in Rhode Island.

The present Adult Day Care facility, which provides services to 55 physically and/or cognitively impaired participants, was not equipped to meet the unique needs of the middle to advanced stage Alzheimer's victim. Therefore, it was necessary to expand our Adult Day Care and construct a satellite unit that would provide services and programs only to participants in the middle to advanced stages of Dementia/Alzheimer's disease.

While the Mayor supported such a facility, he made it clear that the city's financial situation made it impossible for the municipal government to undertake financial support for the construction of the building from such traditional sources as general obligation bonds.

After some discussion about other options, including state supported revenue bonds, the city decided that the most feasible way to build such a facility would be to devote funds from one of its annual entitlement programs. Public facilities are eligible and the use for a limited population -- that is, persons who are handicapped by illness and are over 65 -- enhanced the eligibility. Thus, the city made $600,000 available in two of their funding programs years to create a $1,200,000 pool for the building. Costs were kept down when the state donated a site for the facility. The building was completed in late 1994 on budget and accepted its first clients four months later.

In another innovation, the city assisted in the creation of a private, non-profit company to operate the facility. Through this new facility, comprehensive services and a continuum of care is available to our elder population. This continuum of care will keep individuals with middle to advanced stages of Alzheimer's in the community longer through participation in specialized programming, thus avoiding the high cost and often unnecessary hospitalization or premature nursing home placement.

For more information you can contact the Mayor's office

Although there is not enough adequate funding streams for these programs there is some funding that does currently exist. Presently some of these funding programs cover the cost of the programs if the participant is eligible. However, if they are not covered by these programs then the cost for the individual is about $70 for a 6 hour day. Many families need more than 6 hours of respite care. Many of the 'gap' families find this exorbitant. Then there is the issue of transportation. If the program is covered transportation is usually provided - but not always. Transport is an added expense. Some grants are available but usually only for a limited number of hours.

There are numerous resources available to the community to assist people in searching out assistance. However, these agencies have limited budgets so they are unable to reach the general public through advertising. Hospital social workers and discharge planners usually offer a sheet of resources to discharged patients but too often, the family caregiver is so overwhelmed with their care-giving duties that they never follow up on applying for services. I have on numerous occasions met with families who have stated that they have no idea where to start looking for help. I would dearly like to see a series of articles in local newspapers devoted to listing - free of charge- the services of for profit and non-profit agencies so that families may be more aware. I also think that doctors and their staff need to be more pro-active in advising their patients of services available in the community. Churches and senior social centers could also be more involved in ACTIVELY making these services known.

I do feel that too many people are not aware of what is available because they do not take the time to be aware. For example, I once headed a large non profit organization that provided services to seniors. We advertised in local church bulletins on a weekly basis and yet, there were still people who were regular church goers who would remark that they had no idea we even existed!

I wish you luck on this project. You are providing a much needed service!

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