Day Break Program Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Editor’s Note: This service is no longer offered at St. John’s.
When Glenn Parker needed help caring for his mother Jeanette, he decided that St. John’s Skalny Day Break Adult Day Program was the right fit.
“I had heard they had a competent nursing staff at St. John’s Day Break, but also heard that they care a lot for the individuals that come there,” says Parker. With a busy schedule working evenings and balancing care for his mother with a sibling, Skalny Day Break gave him flexibility in his day and an interactive place for his mother to spend hers.
Jeanette has been in the program for more than eight years now and she enjoys the activities and the food it offers. “They take time out and really plan what’s best for the clients,” says Parker. “The staff there, they do a wonderful job keeping her health and mind in order, and that’s supportive for her and me as a caregiver.”
St. John’s Skalny Day Break Adult Day Program has plenty to celebrate this September for its 40th anniversary. With a successful program full of happy clients, appreciative caregivers, and engaged staff, Skalny Day Break provides the perfect place for clients to enjoy a day full of activities and companionship. The program gives caregivers a respite while individualized care plans promote independence and choice for their loved ones.
In some ways Skalny Day Break has changed greatly over its 40 years—regulations have been updated and the clientele has evolved from mostly private pay Kodak retirees that had suffered strokes to a wide range of people with a variety of needs. However, in the ways that matter most, Skalny Day Break has stayed exactly the same.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on being intimate, small, and well-contained, giving more quality of care than mass quantity care,” says Margaret Makowiecki, Office/Transportation Coordinator and staff member of Skalny Day Break for 32 years. Focusing on the client and the quality of care distinguishes the program from other adult day services that take a less individualized approach.
The invested, caring staff makes all the difference in the program and the satisfaction of clients. “It’s knowing you make a difference in someone’s life,” says Linda Reid, Guide/RN at Skalny Day Break on what she loves most about her job. Christyne Forbes, LPN, loves the variety of the program and what each day brings. “It’s always exciting, it’s always new,” she says. Having engaged staff that builds nurturing relationships with clients puts families and caregivers at ease.
Playing games, exercising, and creative activities make clients feel connected with others and independent in their own right at the same time. Client Leon Dukes enjoys spending time with friends at Skalny Day Break and participating in bowling, painting, and attending outdoor concerts. “I get along with everybody,” says Dukes.
The exceptional food also keeps clients coming back for more. “They [clients] really enjoy the food… I mean, Denise [Mitstifer, Skalny Day Break Cook] knows what they want, how they want it, and she does incredibly individualized meals for that many people,” says Jennifer Abdalla, Activity Coordinator/CNA at Skalny Day Break.
Makowiecki perfectly sums up the success of Skalny Day Break over all these years, “We’ve always hired people of the same mentality. It’s really remained the same in terms of activities and a caring attitude. That hasn’t changed, and I think that’s why we’ve been here so long.”