TELLER COUNTY — DayBreak is Alvin Mitchell’s home away from home.
“Four years ago I actually lost my husband as I knew him. He had open-heart surgery and then he had a brain hemorrhage. It’s a new normal. This is our lives,” said Alvin’s wife, Mary Mitchell.
The adult day program takes in seniors with various diagnoses, ages 60 and up, for a day, giving their 24/7 caregivers a much-needed break, to recharge, and take time for themselves.
“As a caregiver, you’re caring for someone that you lived with for 60 years, who was your confidant, your helper, your everything. And now, it’s about-face, and you feel frustration, and grief, you know, it’s just so much to take on,” Mary said.
After opening in May of 2015, the respite care program sees nearly 20 participants.
The nonprofit keeps seniors active and engaged.
“We have kids that visit, pets that visit, musicians. We have a van, so we’re out in the community,” said Paula Levy, executive director of DayBreak.
DayBreak says their program prevents premature nursing home placement.
They add if seniors are placed too early, diseases can progress much faster than if they were in a home-like environment.
“We can give a bath or shower, we can pass medication if medication is needed during the day. We have a hairdresser that comes twice a month and can cut hair. We have a footcare nurse that comes every other month to take care of their feet,” Levy said.
The nonprofit is funded by grants and private donations and serves El Paso, Teller, and Park Counties.
They’re hoping to move into a larger building so they can accommodate more people.
“A loved one who has Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s, Traumatic Brain Injury,” Levy said.
For Mitchell’s family, every trip is worth it.
“Even though we drive up from Colorado Springs, I don’t mind. I just have such a good feeling about him being here and I know he’s taken care of, so I just don’t have to worry about him,” Mary said.