continued “It’s a challenge for us to say, ‘why not move the rate up to the going rate to be able to afford these places?’ The problem is you can no longer handle the people who are just barely able to make it and people who are struggling from an income standpoint. So, it’s always a balance trying to figure out how to make it work,” said Neary.
One of the main objectives of the program is to make seniors feel comfortable like they are in a home setting and not in a hospital so the new facility will resemble a home as much as possible. The site, which is in the final phases of being remodeled and will open March 17, will have couches, comfortable chairs, a cooking area and areas for activities.
“We want it to feel like a home because many of the people who are part of the program are folks who are starting to go through some of the aging challenges, including dementia or Alzheimer’s. So, we don’t want to add anymore confusion or change to what they are already experiencing,” said Neary.
The program is a way to offer a break from the primary caregiver, who is usually the son or daughter of the person in need of care. Some of the caregivers are in what’s called the sandwich generation, meaning they just got done caring for their children and now are caring for their parents and trying to finish their careers. The caretakers can drop the seniors off around 8 a.m. and pick them up around 5 p.m.
“You don’t have to do it alone. There are lots of resources and programs that are out there. Whether it is a day program like Bright Horizons or it’s transportation or it’s Guilderland Seniors, there are lots of senior providers out there that can help,” said Neary.
More information on Bright Horizons can be found at www.brighthorizonssocialcenters.org.