Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2013, 10:58 pm
Group plans to open day care for adults
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By Cathy Decker
Several Mercer County residents and service providers have been meeting for about a year to organize alternative day care services for older adults in the county.
The idea is to start with one or two days per week, and increase as feasible. The costs would be minimal for people who use the service, with transportation to the sites provided by RIM Rural Transit of Rock Island and Aledo. Project NOW's Meals on Wheels would provide meals for a small fee.
The Rev. Jack Brown, interim minister at Viola Presbyterian Church said he has been working on the Mercer County Adult Day Service (MerCADS) plan with Pam Berenger, a community liaison nurse for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois' In Touch program in Moline.
Rev. Brown said his church has volunteered use of its building for the seniors one day per week. A former hospital chaplain, he said he's particularlysensitive to the needs of caregivers and older people who need adult services.
He said he recently discussed the proposed MerCADS program at the Mercer County Ministerial Association's monthly meeting.
Organizers said they hope to find another site in the Aledo area for a second day of the week.The plan is to open two locations, each providing service one day a week, tentatively from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.
Ms. Berenger said Rock Island County's program is thriving, but many people in Mercer County are reluctant to use it because of the distance.
"I became interested in starting something in Mercer County because that's where I live," she said, adding that oneadvantage of adult day care is "it helps avoid premature placement in long-term care facilities."
The plan is to run the program with volunteers, Ms. Berenger said.
Rev. Brown said the long-term goal is for it to be a community-based, community-run organization. "We're doing this at our church as part of our mission to the community."
Next on the group's agenda is to put together a brochure and mail it to area doctors, hospitals, medical centers, churches, nursing homes and any other organization or people interested in the project.
Another MerCADS planning meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at Viola United Presbyterian Church on U.S. 17 W., just outside Viola.
For more information, call Ms. Berenger at (309) 235-3170 or Danise Lenz at (309) 582-3902.