Veterans now eligible for services provided by alternative health care

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By Stephen Thomas

HILLVIEW -- The Alternative Adult Day Health Care Center is just what its name suggests: an alternative health care center assisting adults.

The center provides a daytime assisted living program for special needs clients and families that would otherwise need to seek long-term or 24-hour care.

Thanks to a new Veterans Affairs initiative, local veterans could attend the facility free of charge.

Alternative Adult Day Health Care Center was approved as part of the Veterans Benefits program through the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Administrator Leah Smith said the approved program allowed Alternative Adult Day to accept veterans into their program at no cost.

Alternative Adult Day is a privately owned medical model adult day center. It qualified for the Veterans Benefits program by being a state-licensed medical facility with a trained medical staff that meets certification standards and state regulations.

According to Smith, any veteran declared medically eligible through a Veterans Affairs case manager could attend the center. Smith said the program also paid transportation fees to and from the center.

The program benefits began July 1. Smith said two veterans immediately attended the center via Veterans Benefits. One had visited the center prior to the program taking effect.

“I feel kind of honored,” said Smith. “We’ve been working on the contract for over a year. It’s a big honor.”

Last year Alternative Adult Day was approved for further funding through the Kentucky Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA). Smith said only medical model adult day centers could be approved for KIPDA funding.

Alternative Adult Day is the only center in the seven-county Louisville region allowing new members without waiting on the KIPDA approval list.

Smith reminded that KIPDA based funding on a client’s monthly income only. She said KIPDA did not include any assets under the client’s name.

Being a privately-owned center allows Alternative Adult Day workers to offer more intense one-on-one assistance for each client.

“The privacy also allows more interpersonal communication with families,” Smith said.

Alternative Adult Day caters to seniors and mentally-challenged citizens that would require 24-hour long-term care if not medically moderated on a daily basis.

“We have a medical staff and nurses on site,” said Smith. “We provide anything long-term care would but the clients get to go home at night. It helps clients remain at home and offers respite for caregivers, an extra shoulder to lean on.”

Each Alternative Adult Day client follows daily individual care plans approved by their doctor. Daily exercises are performed and meals are provided catering to therapeutic and medical diets.

Alternative Adult Day features many independent and group activities. One of the daily activities, called Reminisce, includes trivia questions to help dementia patients stimulate memories.

“(Reminisce) keeps them thinking, it makes them think,” said Smith. “We really try to keep everyone busy and stimulated during the day.”

Alternative Adult Day even features Lola, a dog currently being trained in pet therapy. Smith said Lola added a big positive for the clients.

For more information on Alternative Adult Day Health Care Center and its available programs call 955-1750. For information about the Veterans Affairs program contact local representative Laura Redding, (502) 287-4506.