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Alzheimer's Awareness Month


<<In Memory of Shirley Senior Companion Lunch>>

Nov. 2, 2016


It’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and employees at the Community Action Agency Adult Day Services in Escanaba say the need for the service has never been greater.
Sally Kidd Jaime Roshak Harley Wunder
The service’s increased demand is due to the area’s aging population and increased awareness due to its new home at the Gary Abrahamson Jr. Memory Care Center, 2635 1st Ave. S., Escanaba, according to CAA Senior Services Director Sally Kidd.
“Our message for the month is that demand is up, but our very able staff is prepared to meet that demand with love and understanding,” Kidd said.
ADS helps residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and their caregivers, giving them a break while caring for their loved ones.
ADS Supervisor Jaime Roshak said the main objective is to make sure clients stay active. “The main goal is to keep them active and social, and everything we do is geared to do that,” Roshak said.
Currently ADS has 15 clients, with eight new ones since April. One client is at ADS every second it’s open, 9-5 Monday through Friday. Others may come a few days a week. ADS has six to 10 clients on any given day. Clients range in age from the 70s to the 90s.
ADS main emphasis is helping residents and providing a break for their caregivers.
”We provide respite care to caregivers who take care of their loved ones. We provided a much-needed break while enriching the lives of our clients,” Roshak said.
Many residents are confused when their loved ones leave for even a few hours. The clients’ apprehension is relieved when they’re told their help is needed at ADS. They end up making placemats for area senior centers and do some work for Lakestate Industries. They also play games.
“On an iPad we show them photos of old stars. They recognize the stars, and you should see them light up,” Roshak said.
Prospective participants show up at ADS with their loved one for a one- to three-day trial period. If the participant seems open to ADS, an in-home visit is scheduled, an application is completed and a form is filled out by the client’s physician.
“Often the participants have so much fun, they don’t even realize they’re getting help. It’s so rewarding just seeing the smiles on their faces,” Roshak said.
Harley Wunder has been an aide with ADS for the past four years. “I just enjoy helping people,” Wunder said.
“Sometimes they have a hard time understanding what you want them to do. Just be patient and give them time to understand,” he said.
It’s all a matter of perspective, he said. “Even a tiny step is such a big step for them,” he said.
A client’s day starts with a cup of coffee and a snack. “It’s all about getting them comfortable, so they don’t ask ‘where did my husband or wife go,’” Wunder said.
While their loved one stays at ADS, caretakers take the time to do some housekeeping, shopping or go see their own doctor. “This place is such a godsend. The caregiver is able to do something at home, like light housekeeping, without their loved one constantly following them,” Wunder said.
He said “the pay means nothing to me. Being able to help somebody who can’t do something by themselves … it’s really rewarding,” Wunder said.
ADS is launching a brand new benefit, Brats for Bucks, on Thursday, Nov. 10, in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. CLICK HERE to learn more about Brats for Bucks.


For more, call Roshak at 789-2886.You may also email