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Naples Senior Center program a lifesaver for families during pandemic

Caregivers who are taking care of their elderly loved ones know personally how much it takes to make sure they are living a happy life. We spoke to a family that is part of a new program that has changed their lives.

The Naples Senior Center in Collier County has a brand-new program that’s offering support.

Having a loved one who needs care during the pandemic is not easy. Carol Stine’s husband, Ted, is 82 and has dementia and receives care at Naples Senior Center.

“It was quiet, and it was hard,” Stine said. “It was only me to talk to.”

Stine told us life can get pretty lonely.

“When we closed our doors in early March, they lost the opportunity to come to our respite program and leave their loved ones and have four hours to themselves,” said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, the president and CEO of Naples Senior Center

Faffer knew patients and caregivers were both missing something.

“We were beginning to hear of the fatigue and the stress that the caregivers were experiencing,” Faffer said. “So I stepped up to the board, and they were able to raise $75,000.”

Home health aides are now going to homes for a couple hours a day to do interactive learning sessions and exercises. It breaks up the day for the families.

“He helped my husband with his word find book and took him for a nice long walk,” Stine said.

It’s a lifesaver for many caregivers.

“It gave me a little time to do things I’ve been wanting to do,” said.

Naples Senior Center is providing this program free of charge for the next six months. The center hopes, in six months, they will be able to open their doors again and have classes back in person.

Stine says it’s much more than a class for her husband.

“I think the friendship, the male friendship, I think he loved it,” Stine said. “I think him coming every week will be wonderful, and I’m really appreciative of them.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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