Adult day care coming

The Rev. Garret Johnson (left) of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church joins Jennifer Raymond of Southold and San Simeon’s optician, Dr. Jeffrey Williams of Southold, last Wednesday in celebrating the opening of San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation’s adult day care center.

After more than three years of planning, San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Greenport is poised to open its Adult Day Health Services program in early May.

The day-care center is the final piece of an $8 million project that includes a new lobby and living room; new facilities in the west wing that eliminated four-bed rooms in favor of private and semi-private quarters with bathrooms and shower facilities in each room; and smaller, more intimate dining spaces for residents.

While San Simeon awaits final approvals to operate the day-care center beginning in early May, director Priscilla DeMasi hosted a potluck supper April 7 for community residents to view the new facility.

While Katrinka House in Mattituck, operated by Southold Town, has for many years offered a day-care program that provides socialization, recreation and assistance with personal care and nutrition, San Simeon’s center also will offer physical and occupational therapy, medication management and a full range of on-site medical services, from cardiology and dental care to audiology, podiatry and orthopedic care. Staff members also will be able to coordinate off-site medical services for day-care patients. There even are plans to bring in a beautician for patients who would like to use that service.

“The whole program is just keeping families together for longer,” Ms. DeMasi said.

Patients who will benefit are those who live alone or with relatives, but also need assistance with daily care their families can’t provide during the workday. Some families may use the facility as a means of offering a respite for caregivers who need time off to attend to their own needs without leaving their loved ones unattended, Ms. DeMasi said.

The center can accommodate up to 30 patients at a time, but because not all will use the services daily, Ms. DeMasi expects that 60 to 90 people a week will use the facility. Patients must sign up for a minimum of one day a week, but can come to the center every weekday if they choose.

A tour of the new facility revealed fully functional kitchens and bathrooms where patients can learn life skills that may have changed for them because of various disabilities.

There are both quiet spaces for individuals to rest and group spaces for interaction among program participants.

The cost of program services may be covered by some long-term care plans or by Medicaid, for those who are eligible, or can be paid by patients or their families directly, using private resources.

Those wishing to enter the day-care program are to be interviewed either at the facility or in their homes to ascertain their specific needs, Ms. DeMasi said.

Patients undergoing rehabilitation following surgery also will have access to the space to learn to adapt their abilities to whatever temporary or permanent limitations they have, Ms. DeMasi said.

The original cost of the day-care center and the east and west wings was projected at $6.2 million on a very tight budget, Ms. DeMasi said. But when the economy weakened, work was halted while San Simeon awaited word on whether anticipated state grant money would be forthcoming. Then there were delays working out the red tape, she said. San Simeon always knew it would have to match the $3.1 million state grant, but the added costs resulting from the delays means fundraising to pay for the new facility will continue, she said.

The community and Southold Town government have been very supportive of the project, Ms. DeMasi said.

“It’s neighbors taking care of neighbors,” said board president Robert Wieczorek.

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