Charities’ Adult Day Services planning for future growth
Adult Day Services is Catholic Charities’ best-kept secret, says executive director Wendy Glick.
“A lot of folks don’t know that we serve this particular population,” she said, “but the history is we’ve been in the business and operating ADS since 1975.”
The ministry has moved several times to better serve its clients – and is anticipating a new move to improve its service.
The ministry serves two populations: adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and seniors who are beginning to suffer from the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or who just need a little extra care. Adult Day Services started out in the old Cathedral High School building, now called the St. Joseph Pastoral Center.
It moved to the St. Peter Claver facility and later to two locations on West Central, just west of the US 235 and West Central intersection. Although medications, diet, and other services are a part of the ADS ministry, Glick said, the social aspect of the care is especially important.
“We have eight buses and vans that can take clients and staff out into the community so that they can really experience different activities,” she said. Clients may go shopping, they may visit Botanica or Cowtown, or participate in events such as the Wichita River Festival.
“We really integrate the clients into the community so that they can be part of the community,” Glick said. Both clients and their families benefit, she added. “Time and time again, when I’m over at Adult Day Services and the family members are coming to pick up their loved ones after they’ve been there for the day, they share with me what a blessing the facility is to them – the caring staff and knowing that when they’re at work during the day, their loved ones are being cared for.”
Glick said to enhance that care, it’s time for another move. Adult Day Services is currently located in two buildings on West Central because the original building is too small. Although the second site allows ADS to serve more clients, it’s not efficient to have dual locations.
Charities is catering food to the second location, about an eighth of a mile west of the first building, a nurse must travel between the two sites, there’s very little “green” space at either location for outdoor activities such as picnics, and those who must enter or exit the buildings using walkers or wheelchairs are exposed to inclement weather.
Those challenges will be able to be addressed after a move to another location, possibly in about a year. Catholic Charities has purchased the former Michener Elementary School on five and a half acres of land located about a mile north of St. Jude Parish on West 37th St. N. The building covers 25,600 square feet and was most recently used as the Wichita Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Training Center. It’s a much quieter neighborhood, Glick said, a neighborhood that is aware of Catholic Charities’ move and is supportive of it.
“They are already talking about how they can volunteer and be a part of Adult Day Services and Adult Day can be a part of the neighborhood.” A playground at the former school will be relocated for use by the neighborhood and a new outdoor recreation space will be created for the clients with a picnic area and accessible equipment.
“There’s all kinds of green space where they can picnic and get outside and really enjoy the outdoors,” Glick said. Because the proposed new location is under one roof, she said, building community will be much easier. “We’ll have better nursing facilities, better changing areas,” she said, adding that many clients need toileting assistance and the new bathrooms will be handicapped accessible to facilitate that assistance.
Want to learn more?
Blessing Families – Enriching Lives, a campaign to raise $5.2 million to renovate the building and outdoor space for Catholic Charities’ new adult day care center will soon begin. Those who wish to learn more about the campaign may email wglick@CatholicCharitiesWichita.org.