Village House seeking help from community
Village House Adult Day Program needs some good friends — preferably soon.
Sara Scott, director of the adult day care, said she is working to secure funds to keep the adult day care open in Bella Vista next year.
While Village House was able to tap into investments to keep the doors open for the past 18 months, she said, those reserve funds are drying up.
To keep the center open in Bella Vista, she said, will take $120,000.
“If we don’t find the necessary funding for 2019, we’re probably going to have to close,” Scott said.
The program is a nonprofit, she said, with an emphasis on providing affordable care. Rates were recently raised to $10.84-$15 per hour, she explained, with lower prices offered for more hours used. Recently, she said, more clients have been covered by Medicaid, which only pays out $10 per hour.
But those rates do not completely cover the cost of care, which sits at roughly $17 per hour, Scott said.
“Even if we operated at capacity — which is 30 clients a day — we’d still be operating at a loss,” Scott said. “We’ve never been focused on making money.”
Currently, she said, the adult daycare averages between 12 and 15 clients per day.
The adult day care has subsisted on supplemental income, she said, but donations have declined over the past five or six years and United Way funding was axed in 2017.
The program lost some clients last year as well, she explained, as people moved out of the area or into assisted living or nursing homes.
Scott said this program is an important stepping stone as people age into needing different levels of care, and Village House is the only adult day care in Northwest Arkansas. The next closest one is in Fort Smith, she said.
Scott is looking to the community for help. She’s started the Friends of Village House program, which offers recognition for donors who contribute $12,000 or more per year. If the association can find 10 people willing to donate $1,000 per month, Scott said, the adult day care program can stay open and stay in Bella Vista.
The other possibility, she said, is the center may need to move and focus on finding a more affordable location in Rogers or Bentonville.
“Bella Vista may be tapped out,” she said. “we’re going to have to decide really soon if we’re going to stay open and stay in Bella Vista.”
Bella Vista resident Susanne Watson stopped in to check on her 92-year-old mother, Rosalie Sprafke, during a film showing at the center.
Watson said this facility provides a great service for her family. She takes care of her mother at home full time, she explained, and her mother wouldn’t get a chance to socialize with people in her age group if she didn’t have an adult daycare program to go to.
“She’s glad to be here,” Watson said. “I couldn’t ask for better caregivers.”
In addition to making her mother’s day better, Watson said this frees up time so she can take care of errands and get a break from looking after her mother.
Joan Schroeder, who also lives in Bella Vista, has been taking her husband, Don Schroeder, who has Alzheimer’s, to the adult day care since 2016, she said.
Like Watson, Schroeder said it frees up time to take care of her own needs.
She usually brings him three days per week, she explained, and the staff have become like a second family for her husband.
He’s gotten to know people and makes friends, she said, and seems to enjoy his time at the program. Staff keep the program varied, she explained, which keeps guests like her husband entertained and engaged.
And it seems to make an impression, she said, because she’s seen her husband doing some of the exercises at home in his chair.
“He recognizes them and smiles ear to ear when they greet him at the door,” Schroeder said.
Some clients’ art is on display at Village House Adult day care