WATSONVILLE, CA – Elderday Adult Day Health Care, a program of Community Bridges, will soon have a modern, new facility to serve Santa Cruz County seniors in Watsonville.
Elderday’s medical model outpatient day program provides care for older adults with complex medical conditions, dementia, and people with disabilities. Elderday serves about 150 of Santa Cruz County’s most vulnerable residents annually. But a larger facility in a more highly accessible location on Watsonville’s Main Street will be able to provide day services to more older adults and help meet the needs of a growing aging population in the entire Santa Cruz County.
The adult day health care provider has operated out of the same location since 2012. A coordinated team of licensed professionals, including nurses, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists, focus on medical, preventive and social care to improve health outcomes for vulnerable participants. Also provided are therapeutic activities, personal care, hot meals, nutritional counseling, and transportation to and from the center. This program supports older adults in staying as healthy as possible in their own homes, as most people prefer as they age, and out of institutional care. A $2.5 million grant from Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) helps Community Bridges Elderday purchase and modernize a new space where they will offer over 3,600 additional square feet of space to serve clients and expand capacity.
“Elderday provides our members who are seniors and people with disabilities in Santa Cruz County a place to meet their social, mental and physical health needs,” said Alliance CEO Stephanie Sonnenshine. “Access to the array of supportive services offered at Elderday is critical to maintaining health for these members, and for their family and caregivers. We are proud to support Community Bridges on this important project, which leverages partnerships with additional senior service providers, in support of achieving our vision of ‘healthy people, healthy communities’.”
“The coronavirus pandemic resulted in extreme social isolation,” said Raymon Cancino, Community Bridges’ CEO. “We expect to see demand for adult day services grow as seniors feel safer to gather together again. During this season of gratitude, we are extremely grateful for the partnership and support that Central California Alliance for Health has provided for the future of Elderday. They are among those organizations for whom Community Bridges is most thankful this holiday season.”
A study released by the National Council on Aging in March 2021 found that social isolation increased mental and physical health problems in older Americans, exacerbated poverty for those unable to work, and increased food insecurity. This means the demand will be higher for services like Elderday Adult Day Health Care for some time to come.
During the pandemic, in-person services were limited as it was not safe to bring vulnerable people together for any reason. Elderday pivoted to meet the needs of clients through telehealth and other remote services. By developing a partnership with Parks and Recreation Departments and libraries within Santa Cruz County, the newly created Senior Center Without Limits (SCWOL) was also able to offer virtual services not only to Elderday participants but to any older adult in the County. The innovative online programming offered seniors a way to stay connected with activities and friends online even as they sheltered in their own homes. Although SCWOL will continue to offer online classes to the whole community, Elderday has begun to gradually bring participants back to the center to receive the full scope of their programming and support in person. When renovations are complete, the new facility in Watsonville will allow them to help keep even more vulnerable older adults and people with disabilities at home, living in their own communities, and out of institutional care.
Elderday is an adult day health care center that allows older adults and people with disabilities to live at home with independence and dignity. At Elderday, participants benefit from nursing care, physical and occupational therapies, referral to resources, therapeutic activities, healthy meals and access to onsite mental health and nutrition services. Week-day hours make it possible for participants to stay independent and in their own homes for as long as possible, while offering family remembers and caregivers well-deserved respite. Elderday is free for those eligible for Medi-Cal. Costs can also be covered by the Veteran’s Administration, long-term care insurance, or private pay on a sliding scale. Transportation to the center is also provided.
ABOUT LIFT LINE
Lift Line, a program of Community Bridges, provides over 60,000 door-to-door rides a year to seniors and people with disabilities, allowing these Santa Cruz County residents to maintain their independence. Lift Line services include medical transportation and rides to Meals on Wheels dining sites and Elderday. Lift Line services are also available for private events.
ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES
Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org.
The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Child Development Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE
Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) is a regional Medi-Cal managed care health plan, established in 1996 to improve access to health care for over 370,000 members in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Merced counties. Using the state’s County Organized Health System (COHS) model, the Alliance delivers innovative community-based health care services by connecting members with providers that deliver timely services and care, focused on prevention, early detection and effective treatment. As an award-winning managed care health plan with a vision of “healthy people, healthy communities,” the Alliance remains focused on efforts to improve access to quality health care for its members. For more information, visit www.thealliance.health.