Fun times at Curative Care's Senior Center!
September 25, 2017
Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
A typical day at the Curative Care Senior Center begins slowly, with participants enjoying a light breakfast, coffee and juice, and reading the newspaper or conversation.
From there, Curative staff and volunteers lead clients in gentle physical activity before moving on to fun activities. Ladderball and Wii Bowling are favorites of the older adults at the Center. “In fact, I’m not allowed to play Wii bowling anymore because they laugh at me too much!” says Patricia Fabian, Director of Operations. “We are always having fun.”
Curative’s Senior Center has been a licensed adult day care through the State of Wisconsin since 1999, serving older adults with memory loss, dementia and/or other health concerns looking to remain active and social.
“The support we provide during the day allows some of our clients to remain in their own home or apartment,” says Patricia. “We are a safety net for the family, who appreciate how well we get to know our clients and can tell if they don’t seem like themselves. We are in a unique position to catch things a little sooner, like someone getting sick.”
Curative serves three types of older adults: those who need daily support for memory care, those who are mentally fresh but may face physical barriers, and those with physical support needs, such as after a major cardiac event or stroke. For the spouses or families of these clients, having their loved one in a safe, social environment that can meet medical needs allows them to work or have respite during the day.
Clients range in age, some as young as 50, all of whom benefit from the socialization of being around others and having fun. “There are definitely groups that sit together daily, eat lunch together, have nicknames for each other,” says Patricia. “It is great to see those relationships form.”
The staff at Curative Care make sure to always provide healthy meals and focus on physical activity such as yoga, walking, and range of motion exercises. “Over the last 9 months, I’ve watched a woman move from using a wheelchair to using a walker,” says Patricia. “We were encouraging her to use her feet, get up when she can, and get stronger. Not only does regular physical activity improve physical wellbeing,” says Patricia, “but we see improvement in cognitive function as well.”
Patricia’s message for potential clients is this: “there is a perception that senior centers are for the very elderly, and that is just not the case. Senior Centers actually tend to have younger individuals who are still active and independent. They just may need a bit of support or the opportunity to socialize.”
For families, Patricia understands that it can be hard to admit that they need rest or a day to get things done. “Just know that, at Curative’s Senior Center, your loved one will be in a very safe and caring place with interesting things to do. Definitely come by sooner rather than later. We have visitors who come take a look at the center who decide they are not quite ready to start coming. It’s always good to see what is out there.”
“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the whole family,” says Patricia.
Learn more about United Way Program Partner Curative Care Network, Inc.
Celebrate National Senior Center Month by reading more about how local senior centers celebrate the cultures of the clients they serve.
It’s Season of Caring! Grab a group of friends, family, or coworkers and give back at a local agency that serves older adults. Browse projects.