LaVonne Sicard and her mother, Elaine, have both benefited from the Ebenezer DayBreak program. Photo credit: Fairview Health Center

LaVonne Sicard is busy. A maintenance manager for a trucking company in Minnesota, she also serves as a caregiver for her mother, Elaine, who has Alzheimer’s as well as a recovering broken hip. This leaves an important question: Who is going to take care of Elaine during work? After trying a few options, Sicard turned to the Ebenezer DayBreak program in St. Paul. Safe to say, it’s taken a load off her shoulders as a daughter and caregiver. 

“I don’t even know what to say other than they care. They are so interactive with [participants] and they learn each person’s personality, what their likes or dislikes are,” Sicard told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “Like they know my mom doesn’t like carrots in soup but she’ll eat carrots on the side of anything. They take that personal interest into each client.”

The Ebenezer DayBreak program opened in March 2022 at the Fairview Community Health and Wellness Hub. DayBreak offers adults ages 65+ a safe place to spend their weekdays while loved ones and caregivers are at work. The Wellness Hub offers critical healthcare services and resources, all in a centralized location. 

DayBreak employees are trained to do blood pressure tests and help with clients’ medication management. And when it comes to services like physical therapy or primary care needs, clients can access them in one place. The service accepts both private pay and Medicaid waivers and serves up to 18 patients per day. It also provides a much-needed social setting for socially isolated clients.

“In addition to being able to provide some productive programming and resources for the individuals, the program creates socialization,” President of Ebenezer and Fairview Senior Services Jon Lundberg said to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “One of the things that particularly happens to folks with memory loss when they live in the community is they can become really socially isolated. This is a really important way of being able to break the isolation by engaging them in conversation with other people and doing some different things that exercise their brains and themselves physically in ways that they are not likely to be able to do when they’re just at home.”

For Elaine, this increased social interaction and activity level has yielded positive results through their first 60 days in the program. LaVonne says her mom can’t get enough, even requesting to spend more time at Ebenezer. 

“She actually asked if she could go more and that’s why we increased it to five days a week. She gets to be with people who are her own age,” Sicard said. “She comes home smiling; she’s excited to go in the morning. Just at the doctor yesterday, her neurologist said she scored better on her cognitive testing than she did a year ago.”

Home Sweet Home is a feature appearing Mondays in McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or quirky happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Special Projects Coordinator Foster Stubbs at [email protected].