Hilltop opens its Senior Daybreak

New unit offers daytime care for elderly patients with dementia

Jerry Mayne makes the three ball in a game of pool at Hilltop’s New Senior Daybreak Center in Grand Junction.

The staff at Hilltop’s Senior Daybreak was eager to show off to the public its newly remodeled facility during an open house Wednesday afternoon.

The new facility was created by combining two of the cottages at The Commons, 1620 Hermosa Ave., No. 64, into 3,500 square feet of recreational space for those with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s and other diseases associated with aging.

The new building includes a “man cave” area, complete with a flat-screen television, a quiet room, new laundry machines, four bathrooms and an energy-efficient kitchen.

Pool shark and Daybreak participant Al Warembourg said he’s most excited about the new physical-activity room, which has a reversible air hockey and pool table.

“We just want to show off the new building and really raise awareness that we exist,” Laurie Frasier, director of the program, said Wednesday.

“I think it is just beautiful,” said Louise Jilcott, a participant in the program for the past 13 years.

A $9,000 state-of-the-art computer system is a major highlight of the new facility. And the “It’s Never 2 Late” program uses adaptive computer technology to integrate a variety of activities into the daily lives of those with dementia. The program includes interactive games such as driving or bicycling, travel and leisure programs, board games and other video capabilities.

The new facility at Hilltop’s Senior Daybreak is one of only 400 locations in the country offering this kind of computer-enhanced therapy, Frasier said.

“It provides a wealth of new activities for our participants,” she said. “We are just learning how to use it and have only touched the surface of what it’s capable of doing.”

The new building has three fenced patios and a new security-lock system to keep participants from wandering away.

Senior Daybreak has been providing adult day care in the Grand Valley since 1993. Previously the nonprofit organization leased a room at the Crossroads United Methodist Church, a 1,300-square-foot space unable to comfortably accommodate the needs of its 26 enrolled participants.

The new facility was made possible by the merger of Senior Daybreak with Hilltop this year. It is now one of 26 programs offered by Hilltop that provide a variety of community-service programs to the Grand Valley.

“We were really struggling the last couple of years,” Frasier said. “It’s so much easier now to be a part of a larger organization. Adult day care was not something Hilltop had, so it was just a beautiful match for both of us.”

Being welcomed under the Hilltop umbrella provides a lot of benefits to the day care participants, including the financial backing for the newly remodeled facility. It also helps with staffing issues, cleaning services and other needs of the organization.

In addition to those issues, Frasier is excited to be able to offer Senior Daybreak services to more people suffering from dementia. The new facility can accommodate double the number of participants it currently serves.

“That’s our goal. I strongly believe that there are thousands of families that are dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and we can help,” she said.

Providing brain-stimulating activities is the key to helping someone with dementia, Frasier said. The adult day care program also offers a caregiver support group and allows family members to work or get a break from care-giving responsibilities.

“Plus, I like the camaraderie that develops as you get to know everyone here,” said participant Bob Hughes, who added he looks forward to coming to the center every day.

It’s like having more family, he said.


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