by Mike Lee, Staff Writer
With nearly three decades in healthcare, Tony Lippe, LPN, has always focused on caring for others.
But it wasn’t until he began with Easter Seals Adult Day Health Center a little more than a year ago that he really started seeing the difference he could make.
The Adult Day Health Center provides special care for adults who are unable to care for themselves for extended periods of time in a protective group setting enabling them to maintain or improve their ability to remain independent.
“It’s such a mixture but they’re all able to thank you and love you back,” Lippe said of the patients he works with every day. “Some we’ve kept out of nursing homes until they pass away. One lady, I just loved to death, was 94 and was here every day until she passed away.
“You’re not coming to work. We’re coming to give these individuals purpose in life.”
Vicki Wood serves as the director of Adult Day Health Services with Lippe leading the medical portion. Perri Jo Johnson is the Activities Director/CMA with Vicky Justin, CNA and Tina Adams, CNA also providing care and friendship.
The program utilizes music therapy, horticulture, arts and crafts, current events and other programs to help clients maintain a high level of functioning.
With Easter Seals, you are not alone caring for your family member or friend with frail health or disability. Services are medically-based and offer various levels of care based on the individual needs.
A medical professional meets with you to determine the level of care required.
Easter Seals Adult Day Center meets your loved one’s physical, social and emotional needs in a safe, home-like setting. The program uses individual plans of care to provide a variety of health, social, recreational and therapeutic activities.
In addition, the center provides supervision, support services and, in some cases, personal care. The program is open to eligible applicants ages 21 and up.
“It gives them a whole new attitude on life,” Lippe said. “They come in with a diagnosis and maybe the family thinks they are depressed. Part of it was the walls were closing in on them.”
Lippe has seen one patient with Down Syndrome who never talked become a lively, active participant in discussions simply through the daily routine.
The family members get a huge relief knowing their loved ones are safe.
“We’re thanked every day by almost all of them as they come through the door as they pick up mom or dad or brother or sister,” Lippe said. “I never knew how much it meant because we are with them maybe 40 hours a week. They are with them all night, evenings and weekends and they just come in here drained sometimes. It gives them that respite that they’ve never had.
“It means so much to them to be able to get that break they need and know they are safe. And it still lets them live their life.”
Lippe says it’s a sad reality that many seniors end up in long-term care facilities simply because loved ones can’t take off from work to care for them or they don’t know day centers are available.
The Easter Seals Adult Day Health Center provides:
* Daily interaction with new friends and professional staff. Activities are tailored for individual abilities and interests such as gardening, arts and crafts and snacks.
* Dignified assistance and support with bathing, hair and nail care and other activities of daily living.
* Professionally trained and credentialed staff, including Activity Director, Licensed Nurse, Medication Aids, CNA’s.
Whether enjoying the lovely outdoor garden and pond, relaxing in the theater room, enjoying soothing spa services or participating in music therapy, you can feel confident your loved one is in excellent hands.
Easter Seals Oklahoma Adult Day Health Center designated as a “Center of Excellence”
It’s a distinction not easily earned.
The role of a Center of Excellence is often one of mentor, according to Jed Johnson, Assistant Vice President Adult & Senior Services, Easter Seals America.
“These centers serve as resources for fellow Easter Seals affiliates who are involved in the start-up of a new adult day services site, in the acquisition of a center, or in the performance improvement of an existing program,” he said.
Adult Day Health Center Hours of Operation are Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Information regarding transportation is available upon request.
Lippe says that no referrals are required.
Private pay or financial Assistance is available through the Department of Human Services, Veterans Administration and Medicaid Advantage Waiver Program.
For Lippe, it’s been the boost his career needed.
“For a nurse, it’s Monday through Friday. We’re closed on holidays. It’s not a nursing home and it’s not a hospital,” Lippe said. ““I’ll probably retire from here.”