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Adult day care clients finding their place

The gap in adult day care created by the closing of the Lutz Center last December is being filled in part by an Auburn facility, and the Penn Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church is poised to take more clients.

Health For All has picked up about 15 clients from Nevada County who need medical care. It has openings for more, Program Manager Michael Alward said Wednesday.

Clients are being served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week at the program’s facility on Highway 49.



A Telecare bus takes clients to Alta Sierra, where a Health For All bus picks them up for the final leg to Auburn, Alward said. At the end of the program, the bus drops them off again in Alta Sierra.

The Seventh Day Adventist program in Penn Valley does not offer a medical component, so the two programs do not compete, Alward said.




“They’ve done a miraculous thing, and I hope the community supports them,” Alward said of church members’ efforts.

The church has been running a temporary program without medical care since the holidays. Organizers hope to make it permanent if a license can be obtained from the state, Pastor Jim Redfield said.

“The whole church has to accept it in the end,” Redfield said Wednesday. “The (church) board voted to continue running the program until we get a license or until it comes to a screeching halt.

“The reason for doing this is simple: It’s a ministry to the community,” Redfield said. “There is a tremendous need.”

The church program was on hiatus this week, but will start again next week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, said Chris Holland, of the Community Organization for Dependent Adults.

CODA formed to place adult day care clients in new facilities after the Lutz Center closed due to financial reasons brought on by state regulations.

Those regulations would not encumber the church because the day care will be purely social. The Lutz Center had medical care, which became expensive because the state demanded a full-time nurse and physical, occupational and speech therapists.

CODA members initially thought they would try to pick up the Lutz license, but the church decided to just get their own without the medical component, Redfield said.

“We don’t need a big start-up,” Redfield said. “We have the facility and all the things in place, right down to payroll.”

Some employees who worked at Lutz will be involved with the church operation, Holland said. As a caregiver to her husband, Geoff Holland, the establishment of the Penn Valley center is “an absolute relief for me, and Geoff will be among people who know and love him,” she said.

About 16 to 18 patients have been utilizing the church center, many of them also transported by the Telecare bus service, Holland said. The Lutz Center averaged about 22 clients per day.

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To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.


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