May is Mental Health Month and United Way of Portage County strives to ensure that people in the community have access to health care. According to the Portage County Community Health Assessment, Mental Health and Addiction is one of the top public health needs to be addressed for the residents of the county. In response to Mental Health being a priority for the community, United Way of Portage County provides funding to multiple programs that provide counseling, addiction treatment, medication assistance, psychiatric services, abuse services and clinical services. One of the programs that receives a Community Impact grant is Coleman Adult Day Services. Below is a story from the program that shares how they not only address the needs of the clients they serve but how they can create and impact for those supporting that individual at home:
Nancy, age 86, has been attending Coleman Adult Day just over two months. She is outgoing, and enjoys Bingo and socializing with other participants and the staff. Nancy has recently been diagnosed with early stage dementia at the Center for Senior Health at Summa Health System, which often refers Portage County residents to Coleman Adult Day Services (CADS).
Nancy had also been diagnosed with Hoarding Disorder, a mental health condition. The symptoms include a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs. Hoarding is a disorder that may be present on its own or as a symptom of another disorder such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression.
Until recently, Nancy lived alone in her house, which was packed with stuff, including important papers mixed in with piles of assorted newspapers, brochures, and other paperwork. It was difficult to even walk through the house. Nancy’s daughter, Cynthia, grew progressively more concerned about her mother’s living condition.
A plan was hatched, beginning with Nancy enrolling in Coleman Adult Day Services for three days each week. Cynthia then hired a group of youth – members of the local football team – to help clear wider paths and assist with the task of discarding and organizing Nancy’s possessions. Since Nancy has been at Coleman ADS, Cynthia has the opportunity to sift through her mother’s house to locate important documents and keepsakes for Nancy to take with her while preparing the house for sale.
Just today Nancy has successfully moved into a local assisted living center and plans to continue attending Coleman Adult Day. While she doesn’t yet need much help with her Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), she needs the socialization and the structure. Nancy has found a renewed sense of purpose in getting up, getting dressed and getting on the bus to go to Coleman. It is hoped that something to look forward to will help curb her compulsion to hold onto the past.
Yesterday Cynthia dropped by CADS to express her gratitude and “great relief” in being able to partner with Coleman during this transition time for her mother. Coleman Adult Day gave Nancy the opportunity to become engaged in the community like she once did as a business owner. It gave Cynthia the time and opportunity to (literally) make the space for her mother to move out and land in a nice place without damaging their relationship.
To learn more about Coleman Adult Day Services, get more information about mental health in the Portage commmunity from the Mental Health and Recovery Board or to see additional programs United Way of Portage County supports to help with health needs, click the links below.