Scholarship program helps families who cannot afford adult day health care
It could have been the worst day of Bill and Carol Spallas’ married life, but it was the beginning of a new journey.
On Valentine’s Day 2011, Bill suffered a massive stroke on the operating table at the age of 76. The stroke left him with paralysis on the right side of his body and the inability to speak and walk. For years, Carol has struggled to take care of Bill at home. But in early 2014, they found Eskaton Adult Day Health Center Carmichael. Things began to get better. A lot better.
Last spring, Don and Shirley Bromley made a bold gift to start a scholarship program to help families who cannot afford multiple days of care at the adult day health center. They were concerned that people with disabilities were not getting the care they needed. Inspired by their generosity, other individuals made donations too. Since last May, the scholarship program has covered 156 days of care for participants who have limited fixed incomes, including Bill. The scholarship program pays for one day of care for every day of care paid by families.
The scholarship program makes a big difference for Bill, who attends the adult day health center two days per week because he has a scholarship. After morning exercises, physical or occupational therapy, and a healthy lunch, he has time to socialize with participants. He also gets involved with therapeutic activities, including balloon volleyball. Skilled nursing and social work services are also available.
Carol began to see changes in Bill soon after he started at Eskaton Adult Day Health Center. When he first came to the center, his communication was very limited. He used hand signals and spoke very few words. Now, he is not afraid to express his thoughts. He is even joking with staff. With limited speech, he tells Carol stories about his day at the center.
The scholarship program is making a big difference for Carol too. While Bill is at the adult day health center, Carol has time to do errands and other tasks that can be a challenge when Bill is home. She is happier and more refreshed when they are together.
When Carol came to visit one afternoon, she saw Bill singing with other program participants. Singing was something he loved to do before the stroke. “It was very touching to hear Carol say that she had not heard him sing in a long time,” said Daisy Absalon, executive director at Eskaton Adult Day Health Center Carmichael.
Bill and Carol Spallas are on a new, unexpected journey. In many ways, Bill is becoming himself again. Having served with the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, then working most of his adult life as a sales representative with an environmental services company, Bill never found time to retire before his stroke. Now he smiles a lot more and is singing again. His personality is shining through. He and Carol are enjoying quality time together on the days he is home.
Therapeutic and Healing Garden will offer gardening, exercise, family visits and more.
On February 4, the Resident Council at Eskaton Care Center Greenhaven was out in full force at the Fun in the Sun Campaign kick-off. They have contributed lots of ideas to the garden. According to Kim Rhinehelder, donors have contributed $200,000 toward the $300,000 goal.
The Therapeutic and Healing Garden will feature a wheelchair-accessible labyrinth for exercise and meditation. It will be the first of its kind in the Greater Sacramento area! Other features include raised garden beds, shaded patios, and lots of benches.
Because long-term residents at the care center use wheelchairs, the entire garden is wheelchair accessible. And there is one exception.
The Rehabilitation Ambulation Garden is for rehabilitation patients who are learning to walk again due to surgery, stroke or other illness.
To learn more about the garden, contact Kim Rhinehelder or Lorraine Leung at (916) 334-0810. There are plentiful naming opportunities! You can also find information at eskaton.org/foundation/TherapeuticGarden.html
Impact of Your Philanthropy
Senior Clips eNewsletter