Angela, tell us about you and your journey to starting a business helping those with dementia?
I have been a licensed Masters Social Worker for over 15 years and 8 of those years have been working with the elderly, including individuals diagnosed with dementia, through hospice and nursing facility. I’ve been married to my husband, Chris, for 8 years and we have a daughter named Ruby. We live in a for-real tiny house my husband built on a piece of land in Gardendale. When we’re not at The Day Place, we’re on our “farm” tending to our goats, chickens, dogs, cat and garden!
As a hospice social worker, you spend a lot of time in your car driving to the next patient’s house. After years of experiencing grieving Caregivers share their stories of needing breaks, ignoring their own needs to care for their loved ones and wishing for more resources, in my head, I started creating a place that might not solve all the problems but maybe it could help. Thus, The Day Place was born, a safe and caring place for those we love.
How will The Day Place help family caregivers?
The Day Place was created as much for Caregivers, as it is for Individuals diagnosed with a form of dementia (Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body, Vascular, Parkinson’s, etc). First and foremost, we’re a day respite program, which means we want to provide a much needed respite, or relief, for Caregivers so that they can attend their doctor’s appointments, run errands more easily, have some “me time,” have lunch with a friend, to do the things they need to maintain a quality of life while facing challenges involved with caring for a loved one. Dementia literature reports negative health effects for Caregivers. The literature also reports improvements for those who receive support, education, tools and resources. The Day Place will also provide support groups for Caregivers. It helps to know you’re not alone, to learn what’s worked for others and to hear from professionals who guest speak.
What services will you be offering and how do they help those with dementia?
The Day Place is designed to be a warm and inviting “living room” environment, filled with opportunities to stimulate the senses and exercise their cognition. Mornings will start with Coffee Talk, we’ll provide coffee/tea and visit with each other, a much needed social outlet for them. The Day Place staff will provide conversation topics, orientation exercises, and encourage them to tell us all those stories that the Caregivers can already repeat by heart. We’ll utilize music and art to tap into the recesses of the brain that find comfort in the familiarity of a song while having busy hands. Free time with Thingamabobs and Craft Project Collaborations were created to meet these goals!
How many will you be able to accommodate per day?
We can accommodate 20 Friends per day. We’re offering monthly packages and Caregivers can choose a package to utilize The Day Place 2 days a week, 3 days a week or 5 days a week. With the different combinations of packages purchased, we can serve 35+ families. We’re open Monday – Friday from 7:30 am -5:30 pm.
When will you be opening and are you already booking appointments?
Yes! We are now booking appointments and taking applications for Friends to spend time with us starting August 1st. We will be having an Open House on Thursday, July 28th from 3-7 pm. This will allow the community to see what we’re creating and to meet the staff! We are still looking for a full-time employee, preferably a Certified Nursing Assistant or someone with Caregiving Experience, we can offer a competitive salary and will provide medical benefits. We want to invest in our employees, as they will help us create consistency (same familiar faces) and quality of services!
You can learn more about The Day Place on their Facebook Page.