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Adult day care finds home

10/26/2012

By KALEY CONNER

By KALEY CONNER

kconner@dailynews.net

Good Samaritan Society administrators officially have approved establishment of an adult day service facility in Hays, a fact project supporters and donors gathered to celebrate Tuesday evening.

The project has been in the works since a grassroots task force was established in 2010 with the goal of providing assistance to families taking care of elderly relatives.

"This is going to a less institutional setting," said facility administrator Ben Anderson. "This hopefully will enable people to stay at home longer."

Good Samaritan Society has approximately 240 locations nationwide, but this will be the corporation's first free-standing adult day service. The company still is in the process of getting the facility licensed with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. Pending state approval, an official opening date has not yet been identified.

More details about the facility, however, were disclosed at Tuesday's reception at Pam's Bakery Shop.

The facility will be located in an approximately 6,000-square-foot space on the ground level of the Hadley Center, just west of the Rose Garden. Good Samaritan Society's Home Health of Central Kansas will be located down the hall.

Floor plans include a large area for activities, dining and socialization, as well as a quiet room, therapy room and library.

Nursing staff will be present to care for attendees, and can assist with showering and other needs at the request of the family.

The ultimate goal is to provide some relief to families striving to care for seniors at home. The initiative was organized in 2010 by Susan Gamboa, who was caring for her elderly mother at home and saw a need for daytime assistance.

"I'm beaming," Gamboa said. "I'm very excited."

The task force, partnering with Good Samaritan Society, raised $85,000 to cover the cost of renovating and furnishing the space.

Local donors were recognized at Tuesday's event.

Breakfast, snacks and lunch will be provided by Pam's Bakery Shop, and hours tentatively have been set for 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The tentative plan is to offer services for either four- or 10-hour periods. The cost of a 10-hour admission likely would be between $65 and $75. While that cost is considerably less than the cost of assisted living, Good Samaritan Society hopes to establish scholarships for those who need financial assistance, Anderson said, noting not all insurance policies will cover the cost.

Good Samaritan Society administrators from the company's national headquarters were present Tuesday, and had kind words for the community volunteers who helped make the project a reality.

"I came and I listened to them, and what I heard was passion," said Ted Asay with the company's foundation. "I heard a group of individuals who said 'This needs to happen in this community.' "

For many people in attendance at Tuesday's event, it was a celebration worth the wait. Linda Wood of Hays, a member of the grassroots task force, has worked with seniors for years as a certified medical assistant. During her career, she has met many families who could benefit from the facility, she said.

"This is a dream come true," Wood said.