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Dahl Adult Day Center Expands Independence and Well-Being

posted on Friday, August 22, 2014

David and Shirley Haraldson

Life took a twist the day David Haraldson had a stroke. After visiting with a neurologist, David, his wife Shirley, and their three daughters believed there was no reason David wouldn’t fully recover. In fact, the  Haraldsons were planning a vacation and the doctor encouraged the couple to travel. This was perfect, as they both enjoyed being active and on the-go. During their vacation, however, it became clear that David wasn’t going to recover fully.

As the only adult day center in Des Moines, the enhancements made possible by donors fill an important need. More people are choosing to remain in their own homes and adult day centers provide an economical choice for the necessary services and peace of mind that families need to continue in their caregiver role. Participants and their caregivers enjoy flexible scheduling which could be as little as one day a week or as much as five. Multiple funding sources make adult day an economical choice for supporting independence at home.

When the couple returned home to Des Moines, Shirley became a full-time caregiver and it was draining—for both of them. They had been married 55 years and were each other’s best friends, which made it difficult for Shirley to come to terms with the fact she couldn’t do it all. “To be very honest,

in the beginning it was very hard and I struggled with the decision to reach out for help,” says Shirley. “Once I realized I couldn’t be the caregiver I wanted to be for my husband, I knew it was time to find assistance.”

That’s when Shirley found Dahl Adult Day Center. “From the moment I visited the program and interacted with the staff, I knew we were in the right place. They’ve been such a blessing for our family,” says Shirley. “Because of Dahl Adult Day Center, we both get to be individuals and do our

own things throughout the day. The time apart refreshes both of us and makes us better people so we can enjoy the activities we do together. Today,  I can proudly say I made a good choice for both us and our three daughters.”

Dahl Adult Day Center now serves as many as 60 adults daily. The additional space is combined with further enhancements, including a dedicated art room, library and open kitchen that is used for meals, as well as healthy cooking demonstrations. A rooftop garden completes the center, which is

an aesthetically pleasing space for all Wesley Acres residents. All amenities and spaces strengthen the continuum of wellness designed to support the independence, health and well-being of older adults.

“Our goal is to support the independence of older adults as long as possible and encourage continued quality experiences in their lives” says Maria Jordan, Director of Dahl Adult Day Center. Adult day services provide social and recreational activities for persons who benefit from daytime

programming in a non-residential setting. Acting as an alternative to care in the home or in a long-term care setting, adult day centers provide assistance with daily activities such as bathing, medications and other health care needs and a full-time RN is on site to provide health services.

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