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Safe haven for the elderly

Lu Snyder

FRISCO – Seniors aren’t the only ones excited about the county’s new community center.

For those at Bristlecone Health Services, the opening means they soon will be able to provide the county with a new adult services program.

“It’s a service the community has needed probably longer than anybody’s thought about it,” said Bristlecone administrator Marsha DiRienzo.

Though the program – Timberline Adult Services – will have its own staff, the nonprofit will be administered under Bristlecone. And it will fill a need that has yet to be addressed in the county, DiRienzo said.

More and more children are opting to take their elderly parents under their wing instead of sending them to a nursing home, she said. But many of those children also work, and are unable to care for their parents during the day.

Timberline will provide those adults with a place to go when their relatives are away – some place safe, with companionship, and supervision too, if necessary.

DiRienzo said the adult services program will “provide services for people who would not otherwise be able to stay in Summit County. This may help give them the ability to stay with their relatives, or stay in their home, longer.”

It also will provide restorative and maintenance care for the disabled, she said.

Timberline won’t be ready to begin serving clients when the new community center opens Aug. 15, but DiRienzo said she hopes it will be ready by Sept. 1. That depends on when Bristlecone receives certification from the state, she added.

Initially, the adult services program will be offered three days a week and will be able to care for 10 to 20 adults. Bristlecone officials are prepared to expand that to six days a week, should demand dictate.

Hours are not set in stone, but DiRienzo said she expects they will begin by offering the services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and adjust the hours as necessary.

Timberline will have its own area in the new building. Though it will have its own activity program, the location also allows it to integrate with some of the Summit County Seniors’ activities.

“It’s really going to be fun,” DiRienzo said of the new program. “We’re glad we’re able to start the service and make it a success.”

Pricing for the services still is being finalized. DiRienzo said Medicare often covers these services, but there also will be a private pay structure. She said she is hoping for donations to help sponsor persons who need the services but don’t have the financial means to attend without assistance.

Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or lsnyder@summitdaily.com


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