Libbie’s Place New Facility Recently Opened

Story & Photos By Lori Thompson

As the population ages, more and more people are choosing to care for their elderly relatives at home, be they grandparents, parents, siblings or spouses. Full-time care giving is a rewarding vocation, but can become quite stressful. An option that many caregivers are choosing is an adult day-care center. An adult day care center is just what it sounds like: a place for “senior adults 55 and older who may be experiencing memory loss or physical impairments that can benefit from daily assistance with medication, help with personal care and structured social activities so they may continue to lead meaningful lives while remaining in their community.” Placing relatives in such a center, for several hours a day, is a wonderful way to help them stay connected in a safe place as well as to provide a well-deserved break for loving caregivers.

Libbie’s Place is such a center. Libbie’s Place is a community outreach mission of Moody Methodist Church, a nonprofit organization focused on helping older adults stay in their community through provision of medical and social services and caregiver support. It was created “to inspire senior adults in the community to rediscover and experience the joy of life through compassionate assistance with daily living activities and caregiver support,” as the mission statement reads. Participants may attend 2-5 days a week from 7:30-5:45. There is no geographical limit to families who can participate, as long as transportation can be arranged. Buses are provided for an additional fee. There are two bus routes, one on the Island and one on the mainland. Besides providing care, Libbie’s Place offers a Community Support Group on the 4th Tuesdays of each month at 5:30-6:30. This is open to all caregivers in the community, as part of their outreach program.

Libbie’s Place is licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, the same organization that oversees nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health care agencies. It can serve up to 30 participants a day and is staffed by a Licensed Social Worker, Certified Activity Director, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Consulting RNs and Dieticians, Care Associates, Bus Drivers and Volunteers. Services include assistance with personal care, lunch and snacks, medication administration, structured activity groups and personalized care plans. Participants enjoy art, music exercise, devotions and discussion of current events, “today in history,” and a riddle of the day.

There is also plenty of time for games, visiting and just enjoying the company of others. Libbie’s Place has been located on the campus of Moody Methodist Church since opening in 2001, until moving to their permanent location at 5402 Ave. U, which was opened in June. The official ribbon-cutting was last month. This new facility includes a large activity/dining room, craft room and a quiet rest area. Plans are in motion for a garden so participants may enjoy the outdoors while contributing to their community.

Libbie’s Place is funded by the United Way, donations and fundraisers. Money is given in special donation envelopes and as memorials. Major fundraisers include engraved bricks and the annual Luau celebration. A Financial Discount Program is available for qualified applicants, as funds are available. It is a VA approved provider and several participants are veterans, including vets from Viet Nam, Korea and even two from WWII!
Participants are very happy at Libbie’s Place. They are often heard saying things like:
“It’s a nice place to come to. Everybody is so friendly.”
“It’s a home away from home.”
“You’re not alone. They care about you.”
“I’ve met a lot of people.”
“It’s wonderful! I’ve had a chance to get out with people my own age and do things.”
“We have lots of one-on-one time.”
“I can’t ask for a better place.”
The 3rd week in September has been designated, “Adult Day Services: Building and Supporting Communities.” This has been celebrated since 1983 when it was proclaimed by former President Ronald Reagan. This week is set aside to “raise awareness of the availability and accessibility of adult day programs nationwide.” Libbie’s Place plans a special lunch outing that week for participants and their families.

Alice Williams is the Executive Director of Libbie’s Place. She has a BS in education and recreation and also a MS in community and health promotion and education. She became a licensed social worker in 1997 and has been in the field of aging since 1990. Originally from Ohio, Alice has lived in Galveston since 1986. She particularly enjoys the small town atmosphere and the diverse “cast of characters” and of course, the beach and Seawall.

Libbie’s Place is located at 5402 Ave. U. Phone: (409)741-2538. Also visit the web site at www.libbiesplace.org.

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