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Adult care facility set to open in Aug.

6/14/2013

By KALEY CONNER

kconner@dailynews.net

Roger Kingsley knows first-hand how challenging caring for elderly loved ones can be. A few years ago, he and his siblings began tending to their parents as their health deteriorated.

About the same time, he heard of efforts to establish an adult day service in Hays that would provide respite care for the elderly and disabled.

"It seemed like a brilliant idea," Kingsley said.

He promptly volunteered to join a grassroots task force working to make that idea a reality. Thursday afternoon, he and many other community members celebrated success at the grand opening festivities for Good Samaritan Society Adult Day Services at the Hadley Center.

The facility will offer daytime medical care, meals and social activities for seniors while giving caregivers a break.

"This is as much for the caregiver as it is for the person needing the care," Kingsley said. "Some days, you're juggling 10 plates, and you're not going to catch any of them."

The facility, located at 220 E. Eighth, officially will open for business Aug. 1, pending final licensing approval from the state of Kansas. Its hours will be approximately 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Clients can sign up for a half day of services at a cost of $45 or a full day at $75, said Linessa Rexford, executive director of Good Samaritan Society's home- and community-based services.

Clients can sign up for regular or drop-in services. Some long-term care or health insurance policies will help cover the service, she said. Meals will be provided. Staff also can distribute medications and assist with personal care.

Rexford said calls already have been coming from area residents who are interested in the service.

"It's definitely more economical and cost-effective in helping keep people at home longer while you can still have some respite time or some work time as a caregiver," Rexford said.

Approximately 100 community members gathered in the newly renovated facility during Thursday's grand opening. Good Samaritan Society administrators agreed to operate the facility, but asked the community task force to raise the necessary funds to renovate and furnish the space.

The results were overwhelming, said Randy Fitzgerald, a regional director with Good Samaritan Society.

"Everything you see in here has been gifted to this project," he said, gesturing to tables, chairs, appliances and even decorations. "The total dollars raised was about $85,000, and if it wasn't for that, we would not be here today."

Good Samaritan Society has 240 operations in 25 states, and the new Hays facility is the corporation's first free-standing adult day service.