Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Elderhouse Helps Seniors in Fairfield County, CT

Last week I visited Elderhouse, an adult daycare center in Norwalk, CT. I was so impressed. Executive Director Denise Cesareo is very warm and enthusiastic. She explained to me that Elderhouse can help older adults remain in their homes by giving them a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment during the day. Normally, most of their clients would be forced to live in an institution because it would be too dangerous for them to remain in their homes. About half of the clients have cognitive impairments, and others have physical disabilities. 


I could really see the difference between life at Elderhouse and a nursing home because I visited my mother-in-law in a nursing home the day after my visit to Elderhouse. Wow. Elderhouse clients were more engaged and really looked far happier. They were singing, playing games, reading and resting. They all looked very well groomed and  well dressed.

Elderhouse, which is one of the oldest adult daycare centers in Connecticut, provides lunch, activities, and even showers and personal care. Denise told me that they also care for the families, staying in touch with them and ensuring that the clients get a program of care and activities tailored uniquely to their needs. Combined with being able to be in their own homes at night -- with a loving spouse, adult child or other care-giver, this makes for a really high quality of life for older adults who can't care for themselves.

Elderhouse’s highly experienced staff offers the following services:
•    Transportation to and from the facility (door-to-door with assistance)
•    Hot, nutritious meal
•    Variety of group activities and celebrations
•    Nursing care with administration of medications by a nurse
•    Daily exercise appropriate for the individuals
•    Personal care including showers and grooming
•    Support and education for families and caregivers

They are open Monday – Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. They are also open until 7 pm on Tuesdays. The daily charge is $82, which includes transportation. Showers are extra - $9.00. This is far cheaper than nursing home care at an average of $350/day in Connecticut.


The population Elderhouse serves is getting older and frailer, posing more challenges. While the clients range from 63 to 100, the average age is now 81, up from 76 a decade ago. The clientele is also being affected by the recession, but Elderhouse provides scholarships, which are funded by donations. Medicaid will pay for the care for those with no funds. Medicare will not.

Elderhouse collaborates with other social service agencies.  The City of Norwalk has no social services department, so agencies like Elderhouse have to work closely with other agencies to try to prevent elderly from fall through the cracks. That said, Elderhouse also serves people from Westport, Darien and Wilton, too.

For more information, contact Denise at 203-847-1998

Location: 7 Lewis Street, Norwalk, CT 06851

website: www.elderhouse.org

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