A Parkinson’s Diagnosis and Nowhere to Turn
The signs were there, but the Gaonas didn’t know where to turn.
“We were seeing signs of confusion, driving accidents and health issues,” said Jaclyn Gaona, whose elderly father moved in with their family in August of 2015. The busy, working mother of two needed a little extra help.
“I was quickly overwhelmed with the role of caretaker,” Gaona said. “I was overseeing medical care, general care, socialization and entertainment.”
The Gaonas loved their aging father but it was becoming more and more difficult to take care of him. One day, Jaclyn realized her father wasn’t eating enough because he could no longer carry his food tray to the table at a local senior center.
“He needed more care and attention,” she said.
Then came the fall—and a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
“Each stage of caring for your loved one is daunting and overwhelming,” she said. “It was hard to realize that the senior center was no longer an option.”
Thankfully, a social worker suggested the Mission Center – a place where her father could get that extra care but still live at home.
“If it weren’t for the Mission Center, dad would be camped out in his recliner watching western movies wasting the day away. That’s no way to live.”
It also kept him out of a nursing home and staying with family to enjoy their company and fellowship while still being cared for.
“On the weekends, he anticipates Monday. He’s excited to see his friends and he lives for the field trips and bingo days,” she said. “My dad needed to establish a new life here in Midland and the Mission Center has been that solution.”
Picky Eater Finds Her Appetite
“I was just looking for something that would keep her for an hour or two.”
The Mission Center Adult Day Service quickly went from a temporary fix to a vital part of the health and well-being of Clint Alderman’s 84-year-old mother Betty.
“I work out of the house,” Clint said. “I was needing to go to meetings where I couldn’t bring her.”
Alderman stumbled upon the Mission Center Adult Day Service. He quickly realized the center offered much more than just a few hours of monitoring—it was a chance for his mother to change her life for the better.
“We tried it out a few days a week and it was just a great experience for her,” he said. “It helped her out in so many different ways.”
Meals were always a challenge for Betty, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Her son said she was a picky eater—until the staff at the Mission Center worked with her.
“She was really picky on what she would eat. Now with the staff at the Mission Center, she will eat just about anything,” Clint said.
Prior to discovering the Mission Center, Clint said he was facing a tough decision trying to figure out if his mother could stay with him long-term.
“If we didn’t have the Mission Center, her staying at home wouldn’t work,” he said.
The experience keeps getting better. Clint has noticed continuous improvements in Mission Center offerings.
“The Mission Center keeps getting better and better,” he said. “They’re not on cruise control. They’re always looking to see how they can improve.”
Coming Out Of Her Shell
Alzheimer’s took its toll on Jenna McLean.
“Everybody disappeared because she didn’t know who they were,” said her husband and caretaker Clyde McLean. “She reached a point in her life where she was isolated except for me.”
It was tough on Clyde trying to balance other responsibilities with his new role as primary caretaker.
Their youngest son turned out to be a lifesaver—and a tour that would change Jenna’s life forever.
“My youngest son is the one that discovered the Mission Center,” Clyde said. “We went and visited with them, and I was very impressed.”
The Mission Center Adult Day Service has experience working with clients who suffer from Alzheimer’s—experience that made all the difference for Clyde’s wife Jenna.
“She was starting to get so agitated not being able to interact with anyone,” Clyde said. “Now she looks forward to going to the Mission Center every morning to participate in activities.”
As Jenna came out of her shell, Clyde realized that the Mission Center was exactly what she needed.
“I am very impressed with the staff,” he said. “They have suggested numerous things to help me work with her on a daily basis.”
Like many families who face the need for extra care for their loved ones—Clyde isn’t sure what other options he had.
“The only option is bringing in-home care in which is very expensive,” he said. “A nursing home is very expensive, and in Midland, there are so few good options.”
Clyde has a simple message for those considering the Mission Center Adult Day Service.
“It’s a real blessing to me,” he said. “People should check into it because it’s a very good program and I feel very comfortable with my wife being there.”