Jamestown Gazette

A Dream Becomes a Reality

Article Contributed by
Chautauqua Adult Day Services

There’s no place like home! These are words that have been a driving force and the mission for Chautauqua Adult Day Services., an agency that provides day programs for frail older adults. Having Adult Day Care available to help seniors in the community maintain their independence and remain at home was once a dream of a few dedicated individuals in the community. This dream has now become a reality. A reality that has been alive for 35 years strong.

The early days of the Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers, Inc., presented many challenges. The concept of Adult Day Care, at the time, was in its infancy and not many programs existed in the country. Regardless, a Task Force was established to begin its journey to open an Adult Day Care Center to serve caregivers and older adults in Jamestown, New York. The group first met on July 1, 1981 to begin its plans.

In the ensuing months, many meetings were held and the Task Force sent many letters to local persons and to representatives of county, state and federal governments to notify them about the project and to try to obtain support. All available means of informing the public regarding the project were pursued, and the help of many persons was solicited. Eventually the agency was able to receive local foundation support to employ staff and plan for an opening.

The big day came on December 7, 1982 and the growth of the program was painfully slow at first. Adult day care was an idea whose time had come, but people were not yet widely aware of that. Now people are more aware and the initial site that opened in Jamestown, serving 1 to 3 people a day, has now become four sites providing Adult Day Care services for 35 years. One of those sites is specifically for older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Loss. In 2017, the agency provided 13,224 days of service for 164 individuals. This number continues to increase, truly demonstrating the need for Adult Day Care services.

Friday, May 11, 2018 is a special day for the agency as it is celebrating a milestone of 35 years of providing a much needed service for the community. A special luncheon is taking place at the Taft Center, the agency’s first site located in the Christ First United Methodist Church in Jamestown. The site was named after Frances Taft who was one of the original founders of the organization and the first program of its kind in Chautauqua County.

According to Frank Bercik, Executive Director, “I have been the Executive Director of the Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers, Inc. since 1990 and I have seen our program grow and touch the lives of the many older adults and families in the community. We are very proud to be able to continue to offer families an affordable long term care option that enables older adults to remain independent and at home. Also, the stress and burden of caring for a loved one is lessened and I have seen the wonders our program has done for caregivers. They now are able to get a much deserved break and can also continue to work. And the great thing about it all, is that as a not for profit organization, we are able to obtain funds that help make the program affordable for all.

In addition Mr. Bercik commented, “The success of our programs is due to the overall dedication and collaboration of many persons and organizations. We are especially fortunate to have the support of the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and Office of Mental Health, the United Way, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Veteran Administration, local foundations and many other agencies. Without the commitment and assistance they and others have given us over the years, we would have not been able to help the families we have helped and achieve the success the agency has experienced for over three decades. Thirty five years is a milestone that is well worth celebrating, especially with friends, families and supporters.

In addition to providing day programs for seniors, the agency also has a Latino Outreach to Seniors program in which it provides interpretation and translation services for older Latino Adults and families to help obtain much needed community services. The program also assists not for profit agencies who need assistance in servicing the Latino community. The goal of the Latino Outreach program is to better serve the Latino community and increase the cultural diversity at the Centers. The program has been successful in reaching out to the Latino community and the sites have deem a dramatic increase in the number of older Latinos in the programs.

Chautauqua Adult Day Services, a not for profit, United Way Community Partner, offers affordable Senior Day Programs for adults sixty years of age and older who live in community. The four sites that serve all of Chautauqua County are located in Jamestown, Dunkirk, and Westfield. The Senior Day Programs provide socialization and offer many opportunities for clients to participate in activities during the day in a caring friendly atmosphere with supportive staff and companionship. One of the agency programs is specifically for older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease. According to Frank Bercik, Executive Director, “In addition to providing an affordable day program for seniors, we provide an opportunity for older adults to make new friends, become more active, remain independent and, most of all, have fun. In addition to providing its services Monday through Friday, the agency has a Saturday Program located at the Taft Center in Jamestown. Individuals who attend the Saturday Program participate in many activities in the community that take place on the weekend.

For thirty five years, the agency has provided Senior Day Programs that enabled seniors to have quality of life through socialization and activity programming. The sites provide breakfast, snack and a hot noon time meal for participants. There is also a Community Recreation Program that helps persons participate in outings in the community and the sites offer pet therapy, ceramics, music programs, arts and crafts and much more on an ongoing basis. Funding is available to help older adults be able to attend the program. For more information, call 665-4899 (Jamestown), 366-8786 (Dunkirk), 326-6842 or visit www.seniordayprograms.com.

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