Home Community Community News What Riverhead’s new adult day care program will offer local families

What Riverhead’s new adult day care program will offer local families

An adult day care program is set to open in Riverhead this spring. Stock photo: Fotolia

An adult day care will open its doors this spring at the longtime home of a preschool on Columbus Avenue, at Stotzky Park.

The center will be operated by Day Haven, a nonprofit that provides adult day services at centers in Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson.

Day Haven runs “a social model adult care program” for frail older adults and people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

“People who live in the community come to us for a day of activities and socialization,” said Lori Maldavir, assistant director for program development.

The day is usually six hours long and the center provides breakfast, lunch and activities aimed at providing physical and cognitive exercise. These include word games, music, art, cooking and other activities to keep people busy and stimulated throughout the day, she said. The center provides a safe, supervised environment for people who can no longer be left alone safely.

The cost of services runs $75 per day and is covered by Medicaid and long-term care insurance.

People are pre-screened and assessed so that the center staff can learn about their backgrounds and abilities, Maldavir said. Day Haven offers free trial days which “helps us get a sense of what their functioning level is,” she said. “Then we do a care plan based on the interview and assessment.”

Day Haven also offers respite care. Prescreened clients can be cared for “on an ad hoc basis,” Maldavir said.

Each Day Haven site serves about 25 people and is staffed by a site supervisor, a program leader and program assistants.

The organization considers itself to have a dual mission: serving adults who need care as well as their caregivers.

“Providing support to caregivers helps keep people in the community for a longer period of time,” Maldavir said.

The organization offers educational programming and monthly caregiver support groups. They also offer a “memory cafe,” for people with alzheimer’s and dementia — and their caregivers. Day Haven hosts a memory cafe at the Hotel Indigo East End at 1830 West Main St. once a month. (To reserve a space, call Maldavir at 631-585-2020 Ext. 261.)

All caregiver support services are provided free of charge.

Maldavir said the organization is excited to be coming to the East End, where there is a great need for the services they provide.

The organization sent a letter to town officials and then-supervisor Sean Walter met with the group and showed them the recently vacated preschool building owned by the town.

“It’s a perfect space and it’s great that we’ll be sharing it with recreation programs for children and youth,” Maldavir said. Day Haven’s programs in Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson are multigenerational and have been since 1984.

They are about to sign a lease with the town and expect to take occupancy and open up in late April or early May.

Day Haven already has “a nice relationship with PBMC. They are opening a caregiver center in the hospital and Maldavir said she expects to work closely with the hospital program.

“Right now, we are working to educate people to let them know what adult day care is,” Maldavir said. “We will be doing outreach in churches, libraries and community centers around town.”

For information about Day Haven’s programs visit the organization’s website, dayhaven.org.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.