Timberline turns into Santa’s workshop | SummitDaily.com

Timberline turns into Santa’s workshop

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkSylvia Williams hangs an ornament she made from a pinecone and silk flowers on the tree at Timberline Adult Day Services, a nonprofit focused on social interaction for people diagnosed with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, dementia, chronic pain, HIV and other medical conditions.

FRISCO – Sylvia Williams, a 42-year-old Frisco resident, has difficulty telling time, counting and doing arithmetic as a result of brain damage she suffered from a lack of oxygen at birth, according to her mother, Sylvia Conway. But the ailment doesn’t keep Williams from being an essential part of the community. She works at the Nike store, and for the last few months she has created wreaths and other holiday crafts to sell at Dillon’s Wonderland Market and Frisco’s Summit Recycling Project bazaar.She is one of the 16 individuals Timberline Adult Day Services has assisted in the two years since it has opened. The individuals have such medical diagnoses as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, dementia, chronic pain or HIV.Adults at Timberline began making items to sell last summer, when they sold fishing flies at the Farmers’ Market in Dillon.During the holiday season, their crafts have become so popular they’ve raised $2,500 selling wreaths, half log centerpieces and other Christmas delights.

“We’ve inadvertently turned into a workshop, but it really gives folks a sense of purpose,” said Candace Selk Barnes, the Timberline director.The nonprofit began as a two-day-a-week service in January 2003 under the umbrella of Bristlecone Home Care and Hospice, but became its own entity in May 2003. Since then, it has expanded its hours to 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.Agencies including the Senior Center, the Northwest Council of Governments, Colorado West Mental Health and Bristlecone Home Care and Hospice originally conceived the idea, thinking it would care for an older population suffering from dementia, but it evolved into serving younger adults as well as geriatrics.Most of the adults who attend Timberline are basically self sufficient, though they may need some assistance with activities of daily living, such as going to the bathroom, Selk Barnes said.”We provide medical monitoring, but it’s truly a social program,” Selk Barnes said. “It gives adults an opportunity to make new friends. It gives them a real sense of family and friendship. They look forward to being here and seeing their friends, and they’re concerned when someone doesn’t show up.”

When Timberline started, Conway didn’t think it would benefit her daughter, but then she saw it attracted younger people with plenty of capability. Her daughter has been attending Timberline since October of 2003.”It didn’t start to mean a lot to her until she started making stuff to sell,” Conway said. “Now it gives her something to look forward to, which in my opinion is the secret of happiness. And it’s important for her to have a lot of social contacts. She’s very social.”In the past two years, Timberline also has impacted 40 caregivers.”Most importantly we give caregivers a break because they know their loved ones are taken care of while they’re here,” Selk Barnes said. “We’re just a small piece of the Summit County vision to provide a continuum of care.”The nonprofit can accommodate 20 individuals a day, but Selk Barnes sees 10 as a comfortable number. Currently the nonprofit assists about four to six people a day.

“We think there are a lot of folks who could benefit from our services, but they don’t because they haven’t heard of the program,” Selk Barnes said.In fact, the organization just received enough money to put its number in the Qwest Dex book.Timberline benefits from a state health care grant, The Summit Foundation, Wine in the Pines and town donations (financial, space to hold fundraisers or both). It offers Medicaid to those who qualify as well as a private payment rate.Last year, the Summit Daily News’ holiday fund gave $500 to pay for personal Christmas gifts for the clients and more arts and crafts supplies, which allowed the adults to create works of art to sell to the community.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

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