by SHYANNE LOPEZ

Help for the Helpers

Adult Day Care Provides Dementia Patients and Their Caregivers Much-Needed Relief and Comfort

Sometimes the needs of a person in a caregiving role are put on the backburner without anyone even realizing it. Caring for a loved one who is living with a disease such as dementia can be emotionally and physically taxing, especially if you don’t have access to a supportive community or the right tools.

Luckily, thanks to the programs at the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, Inc., families dealing with dementia can come to learn that taking care of both their loved one and themselves is possible. The Glenner programs were created with the mission of providing high-quality adult day care and support services to families affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

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Their founder, Dr. Glenner, a physician and researcher at the UCSD School of Medicine, made significant contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s research by discovering the link between the beta amyloid protein in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease. His dealings with distressed family caregivers, however, were the inspiration that led he and his wife, Joy Glenner, to open the country’s first nonprofit, dementia-specific, medical/social adult day care model. His hope was that patients and caregivers would never feel alone. His dream resulted in the formation of warm, welcoming, and accepting day facilities such as the Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Center right here in Encinitas.

“We focus 100 percent on caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairment diseases.”

Unlike other care centers that offer services for a wide variety of conditions, the team at Glenner specializes specifically in dementia. The trained, compassionate staff is fully equipped to handle the daily tasks and hurdles that come with the disease, such as administering medicine and the supervision required to reduce the risk of dangerous falls and wandering, as well as the feelings of isolation. “We focus 100 percent on caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairment diseases,” affirmed Lisa Tyburski, Director of Business Development. “And our 1:5 staff-to-participant ratio allows us to offer quality, hands-on care.” They also have a Registered Nurse on the premises at all times, which helps foster the center’s overall sense of safety and security.


Services

Adult Day Care
• Specialized day programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
• Structured, therapeutic activities in a safe, secure, family-like environment
• Music and pet therapy
• Transportation assistance
• Full-day and half-day rates available
• Private pay, long-term care insurance, VA, and MediCal/BCAS accepted

Caregiver Support Groups
• Professionally-facilitated support groups for caregivers of loved ones with dementia
• Free and open to the public
• Respite care provided during support group at no cost

Volunteer Program
• The Guardian Angel Program offering companionship to isolated seniors in residential care and skilled nursing facilities
• Program in partnership with County of San Diego Aging & Independence Services (AIS)-Program Sponsor and Funding Source

Education
• Community resources and referrals to families
• Participation in local health fairs, workshops, and seminars
• Continuing education provider
• Dementia care training


For patients, adult day care offers a sense of independence and comfort because, after a day of socialization and stimulation in a secure environment, they get to go home. In addition to the care of patients, the Glenner Centers strive to contribute to the overall well-being of affected families and caregivers. This is why they provide various resources and several support groups for family caregivers. Oftentimes, those seeking dementia care don’t realize that adult day care exists, let alone that it’s a highly cost-effective option. Take, for example, the fact that Glenner accepts veteran’s benefits as a form of payment. “Many vets are not aware that they have this coverage, and I am hoping this article reaches some veteran families in need,” shared Lisa. As a nonprofit first and foremost, the Glenner Center is passionate about providing care to those who need it most.

In the future, the organization will be opening groundbreaking centers called “Town Squares,” which will feature an immersive, ‘50s and ‘60s city-like environment. In the meantime, the team continues providing expert care and quality of life to individuals with dementia as well as vital respite care for their caregivers. Lisa shared, “Thirty-five years and thousands of families later, we are still caring for this population with the compassion, respect, and expertise they deserve.”


cs_georgeglennerlogoAt-A-Glance

Business: George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, Inc.
CEO: Scott J. Tarde, LNHA
Program Director: Sheila Argeanton, BS
Years in Position: 20
Year of Establishment: 1982
Address: 335 Saxony Rd. Encinitas, CA 92024
Website: www.glenner.org
Email: encinitas@glenner.org
Phone: 760-635-1895
Business Description: Nonprofit, specialized adult day program for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory impairment diseases.