The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for many individuals and organizations, but none more so that Ada Senior Care Center.
"Before the pandemic, we usually had about 24 to 25 clients enrolled at any given time," she said. "We can only have 16 in the building at one time, but we always had about 25 enrolled. Today we have seven enrolled," Amy Mansfield Executive Director, said Tuesday.
The center provides care for senior citizens during daytime hours.
"Our problem is that due to us being a Department of Health facility, we had to shut down our facility completely for three months," Mansfield said. "It was to protect our clientele, since we serve the most at-risk population. We opened back up on June 1, 2020.
"When we opened back up in June, most of our people who had been coming were afraid to come back. Or their family members were off work, so they didn't need us any more. Some of them went into nursing homes."
Mansfield said once the vaccines came in, they got the Health Department to come to the facility and vaccinate all their employees.
"So far, we have not had a single facility-related outbreak," she said.
Mansfield said the community was still afraid to go out, but the Center gets funding based on the number of people enrolled at the facility.
"My fear was that if we don't get people coming soon, if we don't stop bleeding money, this might be a program that our community loses," she added. "We are losing about $5000 a month right now.
"We've had to start marketing ourselves. I'm hoping out attendance goes up. But we might have to reduce hours, reduce the number of days we are open. It just wouldn't be what our community needs. We've been here since 1988, so I'd hate for a little thing like a pandemic to shut us down after so many years.
"The clientele we serve here are so fragile and at-risk, that we've also had to shut down how we provide our services. We used to take them out into the community a minimum of once a week. We would take them to the movies, restaurants, out and about, to try to maintain their cognitive functions, and help them have a higher quality of life. But now we are shut in our building, we can't even go out into the community.
"Some of our clients don't want to come back and wear a mask, since we are still under a mask mandate from the Health Department," Mansfield added. "When you have someone with dementia wear a mask, and you have to remind them every 20 seconds to leave their mask on, it's frustrating for the client and for us."
Mansfield says she faces these kinds of setback month after month, but hopes to see the community rally, and get the program back to where it was prior to the pandemic.