Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DayAway Benefits Both Caregivers and Those Suffering from Memory Loss

Gina Evenson, center, is pictured with two DayAway participants at the Woodville Senior Center where they meet Fridays. Evenson is the DayAway manager of both the Woodville and New Richmond sites. She is pictured with Virgil Larson and Zella Schlegel, two individuals who make use of the DayAway program.

According to Gina Evenson, DayAway manager of both the Woodville and New Richmond sites, DayAway is primarily intended as a respite program for caregivers of people who suffer from diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's or other memory problems, but in some cases other debilitating problems will also be accepted for the program. In addition to giving caregivers a respite from the care required for patients with memory problems, the participants enjoy games, treats, exercise, lunch and sometimes field trips.

Evenson said the program is sponsored by the St. Croix County Office on Aging. The program is held four times a week: in Hudson on Monday and Thursday; in New Richmond on Tuesday and in Woodville on Friday. The program lasts usually for about six hours.

People from other counties in addition to St. Croix are welcome in the program, said Evenson. She added that volunteers are available to provide transportation to participants.