Seniors find friendship, fitness at DayBreak

Stepping inside the DayBreak rooms at Elder Care, the first thing one notices is the light, airy environment, punctuated by chatter and laughter. A group of seniors gathers by the tables in the art room, working on a variety of projects, from painting to carving. Others gather, talking, and in nice weather, they often go outside to their garden courtyard.

“Being home alone isn’t fun,” DayBreak participant Estelle Snowden said. “DayBreak improves my mind and builds up my initiative. The best part of DayBreak is having friends. My friends encourage me to do things and be creative and then I feel better about doing things at home too.”

DayBreak is an adult day health program that provides fun activities, a daily meal, and social interaction in a safe environment. It is designed to give more active seniors a range of activities to choose from, while those experiencing memory loss or loss of physical capabilities have activities suited for their skill level in a safe environment. This allows caretakers to take a break or go to work without any worries.

DayBreak participants cite the social interaction as the best part of the program.

“DayBreak is like my family in a way,” participant Melvin Barnes said. “We are all concerned about each other. When I am at DayBreak I feel secure. It is good therapy- both mental and spiritual.”

DayBreak also provides one-hour fitness classes that focus on strength training, flexibility and cardiovascular conditioning. Staying in shape helps seniors stay active longer, which fits in with Elder Care's mission of ensuring that mature adults live happy, healthy independent lives by linking them with the vital services necessary to maintain maximum independence in their home environments.

DayBreak receives United Way funding as part of United Way’s focus on health. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the community. By funding programs at Elder Care, United Way can reach a growing demographic in Washington and Nowata counties: senior citizens. Last year, 64 seniors attended DayBreak.

“By investing 42 percent of allocated dollars to programs that maximize health in the community, United Way is working towards a future where everyone has the resources they need to live their best possible life,” Bartlesville Regional United Way Marketing Manager Abigail Singrey said.