Vil­lage House seek­ing help from com­mu­nity

The Weekly Vista - - News - KEITH BRYANT [email protected]

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.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

Some clients’ art is on dis­play at Vil­lage House Adult day care

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