January 9, 2009

Last Friday’s meeting was held on the road again. This time, we traveled to the Senior Resource Center in Eureka. While we enjoyed breakfast in the dining room, the Center’s Executive Director provided some background for our visit to the Alzheimer’s Center.

Joyce said that the total cost of the project is nearly $4.9 million dollars, $4.3 million of which has already been raised. She told us that the Kresge Foundation has offered a Challenge Grant to help pay the balance. When the Center raises an additional $380,000, the Foundation will provide the remaining $200,000.

Both Joyce and Maggie Kraft, who manages the Adult Day Health Center for the Senior Resource Center, emphasized that the current facilities are doing their best, but the needs of those with dementia are complex. The new facility will have a special lighting system to minimize the variation inside the building, regardless of the weather outside. There will also be indoor walking areas and an indoor garden, and soundproofing throughout.

Other components will help the seniors using the facility to cope. The staff area (virtually non-existent in the current Adult Day Health Center) will be separate from the program areas. In addition, visitors to the building will enter a reception area that is also blocked from the program. Even the kitchen will be set apart, giving program participants a relaxing environment with minimal disruptions.

Maggie Kraft of the Senior Resource Center leads Sunrise Rotarians on a tour of the Alzheimer’s Center, currently under construction.