SSM Health St. Mary’s Adult Day Health Center closes, Catholic Charities to continue services

MADISON, Wis. — SSM Health St. Mary’s Adult Day Health Center has been closed since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but now it’s closing for good.

The center was for adults who didn’t need 24/7 professional care, but needed assistance with personal care during the day.

A SSM Health spokesperson said even before the public health crisis shut it down, leaders at the healthcare system were already thinking about how to sustain the program.

Larry Jacobson said the Adult Day Health Center changed his mother’s life, and helped her live longer. He said she had dementia, but the SSM Health staff kept her engaged.

“They really work with each client very closely. They’re never left alone, they’re engaged all day long. They really try to tailor how people are taken care of according to their needs, whether it’s giving them puzzles or working on crafts or songs,” said Jacobson.

He said the Adult Day Health Center kept him from having to put his mother in assisted living. She could continue living with him.

“This actually does more than any assisted living facilities in the activities and the engagement, but this is a daycare. And so what that means is these people spend a lot more time being able to stay in their homes before they have to go to a facility,” said Jacobson.

Jacobson said he volunteered at the center, and knows that many of the clients and staff have become friends. He hopes they get to continue to work with each other, but he is worried the closure will force other families to have to put their loved ones in assisted living earlier.

A SSM Health spokesperson said its partner Catholic Charities will continue to offer adult day program services in the Madison Area and SSM Health clients will be able to transition to their care.