While all Frederick County senior centers are closing due to the state of emergency enacted by Gov. Larry Hogan, Daybreak Adult Day Services will remain open amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Christina Forbes, program director, explained that Daybreak Adult Day Services is not a public senior center, but is instead a medical adult day center. Seniors who are enrolled in the programs are supported by the center, who often provide them with their midday meals and medications.
“It’s very much a social place, but there’s a big medical component to it,” Forbes explained.
Daybreak has, however, taken many precautions in protecting against coronavirus, following CDC and Maryland Health Department guidelines. They have banned any visitors from coming to the facilities, including volunteers and entertainers. They have also restricted families from dropping off in the front lobby.
Daybreak employees are also cleaning more aggressively than usual, placing an emphasis on washing hands and also washing wheelchair and cane handles before anyone enters. They are also cleaning the buses that drop program participants off and take them home at the end of the day.
Forbes wants to keep Daybreak open as long as possible because many of the seniors who use its facilities depend on it.
“They’re not coming out to play bingo and have fun, they have a need they can’t be home alone anymore, they’re not safe,” she said.
A few of the seniors live alone, but many of them live with families who will need help in assisting their older relatives, especially while children are also home from school.
Forbes said that Daybreak is assessing new admissions into the program on a case-by-case basis. It is no longer taking applicants on a tour of the building; instead they are interviewed in a conference room.
Daybreak also requires all new applicants to have clearance by their doctor before they are admitted.
“So it’s a pretty extensive process for admission in normal times, but we’re just ramping it up even more now,” Forbes said.
Forbes and the rest of the Daybreak staff will continue to discuss new admissions into their programming, but for now, their priority is to stay open.
“So we really, really tried to create this cocoon, this bubble around the center, so the people who come here can keep coming. We want to stay open,” Forbes said. “We provide an important service to them and also the rest of the service we provide to their families. We want to continue doing that as long as we can.”