Located on the campus of Sisters Hospital on Main Street in Buffalo, the St. Catherine Laboure Health Care Center offers a full range of services to assist residents and patients in need of long-term care and rehabilitation. To assist those who wish to live at home and maintain their independence, while still receiving needed services to remain healthy, the center's Adult Day Health Care Program offers a place for adults of all ages to socialize and receive care for several hours per day in a controlled environment.
With the help of hospital staff, registrants receive transportation to and from the adult care center, where they are evaluated to ensure that their physical, emotional or various other health conditions remain under control and that they are able to continue socializing with others instead of remaining alone at home during the day. Activities offered on-site range from cards to Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud.
"People come from home. They live in the community, and they get physical therapy, speech therapy and activities," said Patricia Cultrara, RN, MS, CCM, the program's director. "The focus of the program is nursing, like case management if there are any issues or concerns with the family with nursing, maintenance therapy so they continue their level of activity. They continue to walk and get dressed."
In the morning, the center offers activities in the morning that are more individual, and in the afternoon, registrants complete group activities designed to stimulate their minds. "They do Bible trivia. They do What Would You Do and You Be the Judge. They go around the room and ask everybody," Cultrara said. "It gets them talking with their peers. In the morning, they come in, get coffee and chitchat."
From Monday through Friday, registrants arrive in the morning between 9:30-10:30 a.m. They receive meals partway through the day and leave by 3:30 p.m. Some registrants live by themselves, so the center offers an easy way to make sure that they are getting to any doctors' appointments and getting medication. The center caters to people with disabilities and, as of June, was serving between 28-30 adults.
"Anything that they might need medically, things like that, we assist them. Right now, I think we have one person that's in a group home," Cultrara commented. "It's just a nice, community-based program because it's respite for the families and the registrants can get out and socialize."
The center is fully equipped to monitor patients' vital signs, including monitoring for heart failure, and checking blood sugar or providing wound care. If needed, they refer to doctors on staff to serve as a liaison to go between the community, families, physicians and others to ensure registrants stay out of the hospital. They always remain on the front line of spotting elder abuse that might otherwise have gone undetected. The program is open to those on Medicaid who do not have to have already been a patient at Sisters.
The center operates under the license of the St. Catherine Laboure nursing home and is surveyed by the Department of Health, said Carrie Sette-Camara, manager of public relations at Sisters Hospital. Meals come from Sisters, and the building is attached to the hospital. "For wording, we usually say, 'St. Catherine Laboure on the Sisters of Charity Hospital campus,'" Sette-Camara said. "They're part of us, but separate."
Through the center, registrants may also request the help of a home help aide, if need be, since they will sometimes approach social workers and other staff to facilitate such services. If situations they observe with any registrants call for particular needs, staff will address situations with patients and families.
According to Cultrara, services like the Adult Day Health Care Program save patients, their families and the community money since it allows them to live independently instead of having to go to a long-term care or nursing facility. "These adult day care programs save Medicaid dollars," added Cultrara.
"They benefit so much - they really do. It counteracts anxiety and depression. They come here, they talk to us. If they're having a bad day, they talk to the nurse, the social worker, and their peers. It gets their mind off of whatever they're focused on when they're at home by themselves," she concluded.