• Divine Destiny Adult Day Care opens in West Smithfield

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    July 24, 2012

    By Colin Campbell, ccampbell@newsobserver.com

    SMITHFIELD - Johnston County residents now have a place to take disabled and elderly family members for a full day of activities and medical care.

    Divine Destiny Adult Care, the county’s first adult day care, opened this week in a building on Powell Street in West Smithfield. Until now, caregivers have had to take their loved ones to Garner or Goldsboro for social activities and a break from time at home.

    The nonprofit day care will allow adults of all ages with physical and memory impairments to live at home longer – without straining the family members who care for them, said the center’s director, Katrina Boylan. It will also offer care for the caregivers through a support group.

    “This is a dual process,” Boylan said. “It’s not just for the participant; it’s for the caregiver.”

    Boylan and her business partner, Kathy Greenwood, have experience on both sides of the issue. Boylan cared for her father until his death from Alzheimer’s disease, and she has a disabled son who will attend the center. Greenwood led a popular caregivers’ support group at the Johnston County Council on Aging.

    For the 20 participants who will spend up to 12 hours a day at the center, the day care will be more than a place to hang out and watch TV. With advice from doctors, participants will have a full day of activities catered to their needs and abilities. “Everyone that comes in will have a complete assessment,” Greenwood said.

    The main room has plenty of games and is set up like a living and dining room. Divine Destiny is working on a partnership with Johnston County Industries’ Cyber Café to bring in catered meals. Trained staff members will lead daily activities. Also, the day care has a TV room with plenty of movies and a handicapped-accessible computer lab for those who want to get online. And there’s a small room with beds for those who need a quick rest.

    Stimulation is key, especially for memory-care patients, Boylan said. They typically live longer at home when they don’t spend their days staring at a wall or TV.

    Nurses will be on site all day to administer medications and other medical care. Physical and occupational therapists will work with clients and maintain office space at the center.

    Behind the building, Greenwood and Boylan plan to build an outdoor patio and garden area. To raise money for the project – and to raise awareness for their work – they’re encouraging supporters to donate and receive bricks engraved with their name or business name. It’s also a way to let participants know the community cares about them. “We need a lot of bricks,” Boylan said. “I think every brick will speak volumes for the participants.”

    Before the center opens, it has to pass inspection by the town, Johnston Health and the Department of Social Services. But already, the day care is nearing its maximum number of participants. Boylan and Greenwood want to add nighttime hours for folks whose conditions make them largely nocturnal – a major burden for caregivers with day jobs. But they don’t want more than 20 people at the Smithfield center, so any expansion would happen elsewhere.

    Rick Childrey, President
    (919) 934-9166

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