An Alzheimer’s day care center that serves people from five Kentucky counties is shutting down after 30 years. The closing of the center in Somerset is due to a cut in state funding.
The Pulaski County Alzheimer’s Disease Respite Center was expecting to get its usual state funding of about $86,000 – that’s about half of its annual budget. Other funding comes from the United Way and local government.
Executive Director Pat Brinson says she found out about the funding cut at a public meeting just before the start of the current fiscal year and she was stunned.
“I contacted someone that day when I got back in the office, and it was just like, well, they can go somewhere else. Our clients are from a productive generation that did not live on handouts and now we’re forgetting them.”
When state funds were cut, the center began charging families a minimal fee, eventually raising it to $32 a day. But that still did not generate enough revenue.
Brinson says the six-person staff provides a full-day of of activities for the 24 clients with Alzheimer’s.
“Well, I’m very sad for our families and the clients, very disappointed in our state and I’m sort of angry and upset as to what are we going to do with these people? They deserve to be cared for.”
The Pulaski County Alzheimer’s Disease Respite Center started with volunteers in a church basement in 1987. The center serves residents of Pulaski, Wayne, McCreary, Russell and Casey Counties. It will close on May 5.