"Without support and funding from Harvest, we would be unable to develop, promote and sustain initiatives to address health issues and work toward a healthier future for Martinsville and Henry County. "
- Barbara Jackman, Executive Director - MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness
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Adult day care halfway to building goal

August 16, 2004

By GINNY WRAY
Bulletin Staff Writer

The Adult Day Care Center Corp. has grants, pledges and contributions totaling at least half of its $1.2 million capital campaign to build a new facility.

Ray and Sallie Edwards of High Point, N.C., formerly of Collinsville, have pledged $250,000 to name the building in honor and memory of Ray Edward's parents, according to Alice Culler, executive director of the center.

The "Oliver and Mildred Edwards Adult Day Care Center" is named in part for the late Oliver Edwards, who was one of the first clients at the day care when it opened in April 1990, Culler said. It also honors his wife, who now lives at Kings Grant and who was a long-time volunteer at the center, Culler added.

"Ray has been a very generous supporter of the program," Culler said. "He felt his mother's volunteering was one of the things that kept her spry for so long."

The new building is intended to serve more people as the area's elderly population grows and to provide more services, Culler said.

In addition to other donations and pledges, the center has received a $100,000 respite care grant from the Virginia Department for Aging. The money will go towards construction of the new facility, according to a release from the day care.

The Harvest Foundation also has pledged $250,000, contingent on $960,000 being raised from other sources, the release stated.

Culler said the capital campaign began in October 2003 and now is focusing on raising the $350,000 it needs to meet the foundation's $960,000 requirement.

Donations for the campaign, called "Expanding the Horizon," are being sought from the private sector, clubs, organizations, churches, foundations and government grants.

The day care board hopes to advertise for bids on the project in late fall. Culler said construction likely will take about 18 months.

The new center will be built on property it has next door to its current facility on Commonwealth Boulevard.

Culler said the board considered adding onto the current building but found it would not meet the building code for an expansion. So instead of upgrading that building, the board decided to construct a new one, she said.

The current facility is 4,700 square feet; the new one will be more than 8,000 square feet, Culler said.

The day care is licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services to enroll 25 participants and currently serves 23 people. Culler said the new building's space will be evaluated once it is completed to determine how many people can be enrolled, but she hopes it will be 42 or more.

Enrollment will be based on the requirement of 50 square feet of activity space per participant, she said. When the center opened, the requirement was 42 square feet per participant, she added.

Also, a minimum ratio of one staff member to each six participants must be maintained during the center's 10 hours of operation.

The center provides daytime services for those 18 years of age and older who are functionally limited due to illness, accident or birth defects, Culler said.

It also provides support for caregivers. Culler added that a study conducted by the National Alliance of Caregiving and AARP has found there are 44.4 million caregivers nationwide.

The day care is required by the State Department of Social Services to provide physically and mentally stimulating activities, Culler said. Its activities include chair exercises, bingo, auctions with play money and word games.

It also is required to provide morning and afternoon snacks and a hot lunch. Its staff dispenses oral medications according to doctors' directions, and it helps participants with toileting, feeding and walking, Culler said.

New services to be added at the larger center will include hygiene care, baths and shampoos, the release stated.

Also, a Montessori-based method of teaching will be available for participants with varying degrees of brain damage. The Montessori approach for participants with dementia is participant-oriented rather than leader-focused, Culler said.

Culler said no plans have been made for the day care's existing building, part of which is rented to two tenants.

Stan and Libby Cobb are co-chairmen of the Expanding the Horizon campaign and Sue and Jack Lester are honorary co-chairmen.




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