Opinion

Sound off: Caregivers’ Cove will keep families together

By Kristi Huffman

I’d like to clear up the information that’s been provided about Daybreak Adult Day Service and North Whidbey Caregivers’ Cove. Many have told me they’re confused about the two. Daybreak is part of Senior Services of Island County (SSIC). This entity dissolved Dec. 31. SSIC will continue with its remaining adult day service, Time Together, in Bayview.

To answer the need of caregivers on the north end of the island, North Whidbey Caregivers’ Cove was formed by a dedicated board of directors and opened its doors Monday, Jan. 4, in the same location next to the Oak Harbor Senior Center.

There are some important changes to the day service program. It is a Family Caregiver Resource Center with Adult Day Respite that serves young and older adults alike who have conditions that keep them from staying home alone. There is a resource library on-site, professional staff to help access information, networking and counseling to steer caregivers toward additional services when needed, basic health screening for both the caregiver and their loved one, community education classes offered, new activities that bring proven results to help participants maintain or improve their current condition, SAIL exercise program and much, much more. There is also a foot clinic operating now at the site (appointments are made through the Oak Harbor Senior Center).

Daybreak has served the many caregivers of North Whidbey Island for many years. North Whidbey Caregivers’ Cove, with Oak Harbor’s blessing, will completely fill the need of this special community by remaining current and employing a terrific staff and group of volunteers.

The numbers of caregivers in our community are going to continue to rise as the general population ages and develops chronic conditions. Nursing homes are expensive and the majority of people would like to remain at home as long as possible anyway. Caregivers need support and those who seek respite services such as adult day programs are far more likely to be successful at keeping their loved one home longer (cite the ongoing Memory Wellness Study from the State of Washington and the University of Washington). North Whidbey Caregivers’ Cove is about keeping families together, Healthy, Happy and Home.

Kristi Huffman, L.P.N., is

executive director of North

Whidbey Caregivers’ Cove.

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