WATSONVILLE—After operating for years in Santa Cruz, Elderday Adult Day Health Care will soon relocate to Watsonville.
The move comes thanks to a $2.5 million grant from Central California Alliance for Health, which Elderday will use to purchase and modernize the space at 521 Main St.
Elderday, a program of Community Bridges, currently provides care for about 150 older adults with medical conditions such as dementia, and people with disabilities, allowing them to stay in their own homes and out of institutional care.
The new space offers an additional 3,600 square feet than its current location.
Organizers also say the larger facility—located in a more accessible location in downtown Watsonville—will allow Elderday to serve more people and help meet the needs of a growing aging county population.
The program is staffed by a team that includes nurses, social workers and physical and occupational therapists, with services such as medical, preventive and social care, therapeutic activities, personal care, hot meals and nutritional counseling. Transportation to and from the center is also available.
A study released by the National Council on Aging in March 2021 found that social isolation increased mental and physical health problems in older Americans, exacerbated poverty for those unable to work, and increased food insecurity.
This means the demand will be higher for services like Elderday for some time to come.
During the pandemic when in-person services were limited, Elderday met the needs of clients through telehealth and other remote services.
The organization also partnered with Santa Cruz County Parks and Recreation Departments and libraries to create Senior Center Without Limits (SCWOL), which offers virtual services to any older adult in the county to help them stay connected with activities and friends even as they sheltered in their own homes.
While those virtual services will remain in place, Elderday has begun to gradually bring participants back to the center for in-person services.
“Elderday provides our members who are seniors and people with disabilities in Santa Cruz County a place to meet their social, mental and physical health needs,” said Alliance CEO Stephanie Sonnenshine. “Access to the array of supportive services offered at Elderday is critical to maintaining health for these members, and for their family and caregivers.”
Community Bridges CEO Raymon Cancino said that such care is particularly important after the Covid-19 pandemic forced many into “extreme isolation.”
“We expect to see demand for adult day services grow as seniors feel safer to gather together again,” Cancino said. “During this season of gratitude, we are extremely grateful for the partnership and support that Central California Alliance for Health has provided for the future of Elderday. They are among those organizations for whom Community Bridges is most thankful this holiday season.”