Monday, February 13, 2006

Adult Day Care is an RGV Phenomenon

I was reading this story by Corrie MacLaggan of the Austin American Statesman. She's the reporter who interviewed me and a couple of friends earlier this year. This is one of the stories she was researching during her trip. Apparently, the adult day care centers are only successful here in the Rio Grande Valley. When my grandmother was still alive, she used to tell me how the centers she frequented would kiss up to her for her to visit them.

Overall, the daycares helped her a lot. She had fun playing bingo, reading, watching some of her friends dance, and the drama of elderly lovers. They also made sure she made it to doctor appointments. If she had trouble resolving something, the centers would make phone calls on her behalf. On occasion, they would go to South Padre Island or some other place for a change of scenery. For my grandmother, the daycare center was like a job she would go do and then come home in the afternoons. She often admitted that it kept her from feeling lonely. The centers also saved her a little money when she would have lunch there.

Overall, I have a favorable opinion of Adult Daycare Centers. They do give our elderly the attention they need without the institutional coldness of a nursing home. This is true because the patrons are free to choose which day care they frequent. This is not true of nursing homes where patients are not free to change from one to the other on a daily basis, if they choose.

I guess this is one of those instances where our culture embraces something that is not as widespread thoughout the rest of the United States. I'm telling you, we are unique.
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