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ReboundKC: How adult day care protects high-risk clients during pandemic

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Posted at 9:17 AM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 10:26:25-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patricia McCreary loves hearing music at Margaret’s Place. She founded the adult day care in Kansas City, Missouri, five years ago. When music is playing, her clients are up and moving on the dance floor.

“The good times we have, it’s just a blast. I love it,” McCreary said.

But for about two months this spring, Margaret’s Place was quiet. McCreary temporarily shut down during the pandemic to protect her clients, the elderly and disabled, who are more at risk for severe symptoms from COVID-19.

When she reopened, she put a few new protocols into place. Everyone gets their temperature checked as they come in the building and they must wear a mask. Sanitation was already a point of pride for McCreary, but she has doubled the amount of times her staff disinfects high-traffic touch points.

She said her business received loans from the Payroll Protection Program and other Small Business Administration programs. The day care also received a donation of several hundred masks. All of which have made reopening under new circumstances a lot easier.

“We had to make sure our business stayed open,” McCreary described her mindset when the pandemic hit.

She says her business is so important because there are more people seeking day care services than there are spots available across the city.

Here’s a Rebound Rundown to help guide a family looking for adult day care services right now:

  • No question about COVID-19 is off limits.
  • Ask a facility how many clients have tested positive.
  • Ask the facility what it did in when a client tested positive.
  • Ask to see the facility’s sanitation schedule. “A facility that is taking it seriously should have a book showing daily sanitation activities and even showing temperature checks,” McCreary pointed out.
  • Aside from COVID-19, compare amenities like food, activities, wellness and therapy programs before choosing a day care.

McCreary admitted one of her clients tested positive for COVID-19 since she reopened. Once she found out, she closed the facility within two hours and remained closed for two weeks. And her approach paid off.

“No one else tested positive,” she said. “So we’re pretty confident the COVID-19 didn’t come from our facility. This person also lives in one of those senior buildings where there are hundreds of other people.”

McCreary said paying for adult day care is often a hurdle for families. She’s hopeful Medicaid expansion Missouri voters approved this month will help cover the costs for some families. In the meantime, Margaret’s Place offers a scholarship program where people can donate to cover rate for a client. Click here for more information.

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