PHOTO CREDIT: Debra Dombkowski
The COA Adult Day Healthcare seniors enjoyed bowling together at The Nassau Bowling Center in Yulee. “Everyone can bowl,” says Debra Dombkowski, LPN and ADHC program Supervisor, “Sometimes the families of our seniors will say
that their loved one can’t bowl, but the reality is even our most frail seniors, with adaptive equipment and assistance from well-trained COA staff, CAN BOWL! Some of the seniors surprise even themselves and it is wonderful to witness their facial expressions during this activity. Their laughter is ringing out and they are dancing in the bowling lanes to the oldies music classics playing on the speakers. As you can see from these photos, (All photos courtesy of Debra Dombkowski) the adaptive ball ramp provided by The Nassau Bowling Center would enable even the most frail member of our group able to participate.”
COA Transportation provided the group trip for 8 clients, plus employees and volunteers.
The ADHC program provides care, stimulation, motivation and respite for up to 15 seniors daily, but usually only 6-10 actually attend the ADHC program at COA on any given day. “This time for the caregiver family is important because it gives them a much needed break, officially called respite from the daily challenge of caring for someone with memory impairment,” says Debra. Always supervised by a Licensed Practical Nurse, therapeutic activities with individualized care and medical monitoring and the dispensing of medication are offered Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Gail Bushy, Marie Franks and Jerelynn Aikens
Group trips are planned for ADHC seniors monthly, especially in hot and cold weather. Senior exercise in the hot months is a special challenge, as even the walk to the COA Transportation Bus in the parking lot is about all the heat these frail seniors can take. “The destination must be a cool one and bowling fits the need. Bowling is a cool idea to beat the heat for everyone. This stealth exercise
is actually fun, too, “says Debra Dombkowski, LPN, manager of the Adult Day Healthcare Program at the Council on Aging (located near Baptist Hospital). She constantly comes up with great ideas to keep the memory impaired seniors who participate in her program active, even when the heat prohibits their usual forms of active programming like gardening or picnics, horse and buggy rides on Center Street or handing candy to preschoolers at Halloween. Another cool trip she has planned for this fall will be a “Talk Like A Pirate Day” event with our friends from the Fernandina Pirates Club, to be finalized in the coming month for September. Bowling is already scheduled again for August 30.
Kelly Meyle, Grace Moore, and Wendy Hickman
The Council on Aging is a 501-c-3 non-profit agency, the highest level of charitable organization. We cheerfully enrich the lives of senior citizens everyday in many ways, delivering critical services to Nassau County seniors in five categories including Meals on Wheels, COA Transportation, In-Home Care, and Adult Day Health Care, while operating two senior recreation centers. The Council on Aging of Nassau is partially funded by grants from Federal, State and local governments plus donations from private individuals to provide programs and services, which are available for all in Nassau County for a fee, or on a sliding scale of payment for qualified clients.
More information is available on our website www.coanassau.com.
Debra Dombkowski, Manager of the Adult Day Care Services, loves caring for seniors. An LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and the ADHC Supervisor, since 2007, she has 37yrs of nursing experience predominantly in the Geriatric Field, plans and runs the entire ADHC program, with a staff of 2 CMA’s and 10 Volunteers. She is certified in CPR/First Aide & ADI (Alzheimers Disease Initiative Training).
About The ADHC Program
Millie Lhotka, Juanitta Tillman, and Gail Bushy
Established in 1987, the COA has a 24year history serving seniors with Dementia. We are the ONLY ADHC Program in Nassau County. We are licensed by the Agency for Health Administration, reviewed every 2 years. Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We are licensed to accommodate 15 seniors. We have some attendees who pay privately at the rate of $12 per hour, and others who are subsidized with assistance through government programs for qualifying seniors through ElderSource.
To provide a safe, secure, fun filled, stimulating day for these compromised and frail seniors as well as to provide much needed and deserved respite for their caregivers.
Like a pre-school for children, but planned and organized for seniors, we provide a stimulating, caring, fun filled time of activities along with health monitoring of our clients. Vital signs are taken regularly and with close observation by trained staff for changes in behavior and condition. We work closely with caregivers, doctors, therapists, family, friends, case managers and even hospice to care for each senior according to their individual needs, assisting seniors with ADL’s, activities of Daily Living.
Living Room time & Garden time, Memory and Reminiscing activities, Arts & Crafts, Music, Bingo, Exercise & Balance, Gardening, Fishing, Field Trips, even community service to others (The seniors of the ADHC have been cutting, sorting and mailing manufacturer coupons for military families all over the world. We have received acknowledgment from as far away as Saudi Arabia and Japan) and implementing interaction with young & teen children. Then attendees are served balanced nutritious lunch and hydration is encouraged.
Our overriding goal is to provide quality care to the seniors we serve and continued support to their caregivers, providing our service so they can work or providing respite so that they can care for themselves and enjoy some personal time. This service is open to local citizens, and also visitors, who have completed our intake process.
Testimonials From Attendees Families
“My loved one sleeps so much better at night since attending the ADC Program”(Being active during the day, results in sleeping well later.)
“I’m able to enjoy their company more when we’re back together after some respite time. I return refreshed and ready for anything.”
Other Services Provided by COA
FDOT Trained, Safety Certified Drivers also use our handicapped equipped buses to provide Transportation Services to people for trips to meet medical needs, work, activities and errands for a very small co-pay per ride, or sometimes without charge, to qualified Transportation Disadvantaged individuals. We also operate on a Fee-for-Service for Group Activities and Event Trips for COA outings and other trips, with prior planning. COA is not a charter bus service.
In-Home Services of personal care for the individual are provided by a Certified Nursing Assistant. Errands, companionship and homemaker services are provided—however, we are “aides not maids”.
Operating two Senior Centers (West Nassau in Hilliard, and East Nassau in Fernandina Beach) they provide educational programs, classes, art, crafts, music, games, bingo, computer tutoring, exercise, medical screenings, health & wellness, pet therapy, social outings and congregate group meal time. Balanced nutrition directed to the individual’s dietary needs are provide both at the Centers and through Meals on Wheels (driven to the homes by volunteer drivers who also offer friendly social contact and monitoring) if the person is homebound by reason of illness, disability, or isolation.
Amazing volunteers make things happen at the COA and you are invited to join their Circle of Friends by calling (904) 261-0701.
Meals on Wheels Drivers
Senior Site Helpers
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