Carlisle Adult Day Center is enrolling new clients

The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) defines Adult Day programs as “a professional care setting in which older adults and adults living with dementia…receive individualized therapeutic, social, and health services for some part of the day.”

Carlisle Adult Day clients enjoy gardening with the Master Gardeners from Penn State.

Messiah Lifeways Adult Day services go above and beyond in providing a positive, nurturing programming to meet a variety of needs in clients, especially those with a dementia diagnosis. Music, art, exercise, gardening, service projects, a hot lunch, special events… everything is geared towards socialization and maintaining the cognitive and physical abilities of each client. We don’t dwell on what has been lost; we focus on what is still possible.

We’re also keenly aware of the difficulties facing caregivers in Central Pennsylvania. Adult children need to continue working, devoted spouses become weary with caregiver burnout, families and neighbors feel ill-equipped to help. Adult Day programs like ours provide a safety net – a safe haven – for the clients and their loved ones. The Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs are also strongly connected to the Alzheimer’s Association which adds an extra layer of support through training, resources, and caregiver support groups that help the entire family.

If someone you love is unable to stay safely at home during the work week due to memory impairment or another age-related concern or you know someone who would benefit from the services at a Messiah Lifeways Adult Day Services, please feel free to help spread the word. Some additional points of interest about Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs:

• They’re secured and thoroughly equipped to put the caregiver’s mind at ease.
• They employ team members, including several Registered Nurses, who are well trained in therapeutic programming, validation and remotivation therapy, and more.
• Focus on the client – their memories, their interests, their hobbies, to make each day meaningful and positive.
• May help to reduce the unwanted behaviors that sometimes challenges families and caregivers.

Our Mechanicsburg Center is currently on a waiting list but our Carlisle Center does have openings. Melissa Brandt, the Carlisle Center Coordinator would welcome the opportunity to give tours and talk about the admission process with anyone who is interested. The Carlisle Adult Day program is located at The Meeting House, Carlisle Campus, 1155 Walnut Bottom Road.

Melissa can be reached at: 717-243-0447 or via email at

To learn more about Messiah Lifeways Adult Services, please visit


Podcast 12: Reducing Caregiver Stress & Family Friction

Locking horns with a family member about an aging parent’s care? It can make an already stressful situation that much worse. Family dynamics, disagreement, and old wounds can make the process of caring for an ailing parent very complicated between family members, especially siblings.

This episode focuses reducing friction and caregiver stress between family members for the good of the cause by examining caregiver equity, putting aside differences and gaining new perspectives. Listen to the Coach’s Corner podcast and check out some the additional resources to make caregiving a little less stressful and more manageable.

Click here to listen to Episode 12

Additional resources to check out:

“What to Do about Mama?” by Barbara Matthews & Barbara Trainin Blank, published by Sunbury Press…ers/dp/1620063158

“The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer ’s Disease, Related Dementia and Memory Loss” by Nancy Mace M.A and Peter Rabins, M.D. M.P.H. published by The Johns Hopkins University Press.…ias/dp/1455521159

Or visit the Family Caregiver Alliance at

Adult Day Services: Enriching Lives & Supporting Caregivers

Caring for an aging parent or ailing spouse while trying to fulfill the promise of helping them age in place can be a struggle. This is especially true for a growing segment of caregivers who have a parent or spouse they’re caring for, while simultaneously still raising kids or even grandkids. Known as the “sandwich generation,” many of them are also still working, and therefore their plates are quite full, as you might imagine.

Often as the caregiver goes to work or needs to run errands, their loved one may be alone throughout the day. The fear of falling, dementia, isolation, and boredom can create an unsafe or less than desirable home life. Hiring care to look after them during the day is an option, but it can be cost prohibitive at times or it may not provide the stimulation they need or desire. Likewise, avoiding a move to a care community is counter to their goal. This is where Adult Day Services could be the solution.

Adult Day provides great balance 

Adult Day programs offer a great balance by enriching and caring for those trying to age in place, while supporting and relieving caregivers juggling their busy lives. Adult Day clients get the care, stimulation, and support they need on a daily basis. But at the end of the day they return home with their family or spouse. This takes a lot of pressure off of the spouse or the adult children as they go about the rest of their busy day. It is also reassuring for them to know that they are being cared for, eating well, having their medications administered, plus are participating in activities and socializing with their peers.

Affordable and flexible

It is also extremely affordable compared to other forms of daily care, and with financial assistance, typically through county funding, it is accessible to most everyone. Another great aspect is its flexibility. The Adult Day programs in Mechanicsburg and Carlisle are open Monday through Friday, but clients can attend as little as 1 or 2 days a week for 4 or 8 hours. They also open at 7:15 am and close around 5:00 pm to allow for early and late pick up.

Adult Day could be the solution you’re looking for

The chart below provides a great overview of the program, why it might be the right fit for you. It also gives detail on the services, support, and enrichment available to those in the program. [Hover and click on the chart for a larger view]

To learn more or to schedule a visit, please call 717.790.8224 for the Mechanicsburg Center or 717.243.0447 for Carlisle or visit


Messiah Village Multisensory Room in the News

Business Woman Magazine celebrated National Caregiver’s Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month by highlighting the important ways that communication and sensory stimulation can aid those journeying through memory less and dementia.  Reporter Barbara Trainin Blank consulted with Krissy Koenig, CTRS, a community life leader at Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village who has extensive knowledge of Snoezelen therapy, sensory programming, and how aromatherapy, gentle hand massages, dim lights, and visual cues can calm behaviors and evoke pleasant memories. Read the article in its entirety here.

Coach’s Corner Ep. 9: Aid & Attendance Benefit for Veterans w. guest Neal Delisanti

There are number of benefit programs available to Veterans, but half the battle of accessing them is knowing they exist. One such lesser known program is the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit for war vets and surviving spouses. Listen and learn as we talk with Neal Delisanti, Director of Cumberland County Veterans Affairs, as he shares detail on the benefit, eligibility requirements and the application process.

Episode 9 of the Coach’s Corner Podcast explores this pension program. Click below to listen.

To get in contact with the Neal in the Cumberland County office of Veteran Affairs:
Phone: 717.240.6178 or toll free 888.697.0371 ext.6178

Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veteran Affairs

United States Department of Veteran Affairs

Caregiving and Curbing Sibling Discord

Serving as a caregiver for an ailing parent or parents can be extremely challenging. It can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. One of the first suggestions or ideal situations as a caregiver is to share the responsibility. Naturally much of this starts with the adult children, especially if both parents need assistance, or the spouse has their own health issues to deal with or has passed away.

As a parent’s health begins to fail, you’d hope all the kids would rally around mom or dad and work in harmony to reciprocate the care in this common reversal of caregiving roles. But not all that surprising, family dynamics, disagreement, and old wounds can make this process very complicated and typically results in one of the kids becoming the primary caregiver. This can create resentment and even more conflict between family members as the burden grows.

Caregiving Equity

Innocently enough, some siblings cannot offer as much help simply due to geography or their own family dynamics. If mom lives down the street from you, but lives 300 miles from your brother, let’s face it – there’s going to be some caregiving inequity. Work schedules, retirement, personal health issues, and dependent children can also create disparity among sibling caregivers. Although, there are solutions to alleviate some of these issues which you will see below.

Less excusable is the exaggeration of some of the above obstacles or the occasionally uttered excuse of, “well dad liked you best, so he’d rather you take care of him” or “I’ll do my part,” then they disappear or gradually minimize their efforts.

Lastly, are the inexcusable reasons for not partaking in the caregiving effort, such as simply turning a blind eye or a purposeful absence due to a held over grudge or poor relationship with siblings or that parent. But some old wounds can run very deep, and estrangement is sometimes irreversible.

Putting Differences Aside and Gaining Perspective

Whatever the reason the family dysfunction exists, I think most can and must get beyond these obstacles. Open communication and planning are essential. Full disclosure: my older brother and I are not very close. We communicate very infrequently. But there have been some recent instances where we needed to talk for the sake and well-being of our parents. If we could do this, most people can. The point where your parent is in need is not the time for conflict or jockeying of control. If things escalate, here are some suggestions to share the load.

• Call a family meeting – Include everyone to discuss the situation to work toward a common goal, especially for out-of-town siblings. Help them understand the need for care and intervention, as they may not be able to detect nor accept reality from so far away.

• Draft a care plan – The plan should be a well-balanced with well-defined roles. Divide up tasks by family member. For instance, if one sibling works in health care, they could take on all of the medical appointments. Or the person with good business sense might handle legal issues and/or financial issues. Furthermore, much of this can be done from afar and is a great tactic to keep siblings, who live far away, doing their fair share. They can also pay for services like home care or housekeeping services to help out. They could also host or come stay with mom every few months to take over and give others a break. Lastly, have everyone sign the plan to maintain accountability and keep everyone on task. That plan could also include placement options for further on down the line when living at home is no longer safe or feasible.

• Utilize technology and outside resources – Fall-detection and home-monitoring and video systems can create and maintain a safer home environment to make caregiving more efficient and less time consuming. Also hired services, like non-medical home care, respite care, and adult day programs can help alleviate the burden of care between family members.

 • Listen to each other and stay flexible – Maintain lines of communication. Appreciate everyone’s perspective along with their position and capacity of being a caregiver, and remember circumstances may change and alter the division of labor. And once again, don’t expect total equality. It’s very rare that caregiving roles can be divided equally.

“Try to separate your parent’s needs from your own—and yesterday’s battles from today’s decisions” – Family Caregiver Alliance

 • Lastly, remember why you’re doing it – Caregiving can be frustrating and contentious at times, especially if you feel that some else is not doing their part. But ultimately, you must work together to take care of the person or persons that took care of you for all those years.

For more help, call 717.591.7225 or email or check out the following resources:

“What to Do about Mama?” by Barbara Matthews & Barbara Trainin Blank, published by Sunbury Press

“The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer ’s Disease, Related Dementia and Memory Loss” by Nancy Mace M.A and Peter Rabins, M.D. M.P.H. published by The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Or visit the Family Caregiver Alliance at

This article first appeared in the August 2017 edition of Blue Mountain Living Magazine.


Home Care: A Cornerstone to Aging in Place

Every November, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care Month all month long, and Home Care Aide Week, which runs from November 13-19, 2016. It is a time to honor the care giving heroes who make a remarkable difference in the lives of those in need. This year’s theme is “Caring in Action.”

November is Homecare MonthHome care lies at the core of helping aging and disabled Americans stay in their home for longer periods of time. It can potentially lessen the amount of time someone may spend in an assisted living residence, personal care home, or nursing home. Of course there are many other resources to help people “age in place or community.” Other options include home health care, which provides short-term medical care into the home, adult day programs, respite care, technology, home modification, and in-home medical equipment. Home care services combined with one or several of these other home-based resources can create a workable blueprint to help someone age in place.

The Evolution of Community-Based Care
There are a number of reasons for this shift toward community-based care. First is the government’s dwindling ability to fund healthcare. And with nearly 76 million baby boomers reaching age 65 in the next 20 years, coverage for institutional care will become harder and harder to get. Because of this, the free market is joining the movement away from an institutional model of care and pushing for more community support services. It is the direction health care services are headed in our country. This is why you are seeing more urgent care centers, home care agencies, and hospice providers popping up in the community. It is simply cheaper to take care of someone if they don’t have to be hospitalized or placed in a facility, which is what most people want anyway.

These 76 million boomers represent a large and powerful generation whose demands and expectations of care will be very different from what we are used to seeing. Once more the idea of bringing services into the home and modifying homes will be the future for this rapidly growing number of seniors. Other factors compounding this evolution of care include our ever increasing life spans which require longer periods of care and funding. Secondly, over the last three decades, the number of family members, especially daughters, serving as caregivers has shrunk as our society becomes more mobile and career-oriented making a move out of town, state, or country more common. The way we used to care for our elders has changed. Just as nursing homes and personal care homes have provided surrogate care for aging loved ones over the last several decades, the idea of substituting care with home care aides has become more conventional. It helps working daughters (or sons), sandwich generation caregivers, out-of-towners, and spouses to replace or supplement the care they provide.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice states that demographic shift studies translate into some [troubling] data. The number of frail older people over 65 is expected to increase from 11 million in 2010 to 18 million in 2030. The percentage of frail older people who are childless is expected to rise from 14 to 18 percent during this period, and the ratio of frail, older people who have only one or two adult children is expected to increase from 38 to 49 percent. Most of these aging boomers will want to remain in their homes, but they may not be able to count on their families for long-term care when it’s needed.

Home Care Can Fill Many Niches
Not only has health care evolved to put a greater emphasis on community-based services, but home care itself is evolving. Traditional housekeeping, cooking, companionship, transportation and assistance with activities like bathing and dressing are generally offered by most non-medical home care providers. However, home care providers such as Messiah Lifeways At Home now offer a unique array of services that buoy one’s ability to live safely and more carefree at home. Some of these newer and less known options include: pet and plant care,  non-skilled home maintenance, downsizing services, assistance with home exercise programs, and technology/computer assistance.

Lastly, in a time where the expanding need along with the absence of consistent familial support continue to grow, home care staff fill a void and become more than just caregivers for their clients. They become almost like close friends or even family and are poised to play a key role at the center of caregiving in our country.

To learn more, go to or call 717.790.8209. For information on home care services for the entire state, visit the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) home care locator link [click here].

Originally posted November 2013- Revised for November 2016
by: Matthew Gallardo, Messiah Lifeways Coach, BASW, CCP

Marking National Home Care and Hospice Month with a Thank You

November is National Home Care and Hospice month so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much the work you do means to Messiah Lifeways. Our mission statement says that “We are a ministry that responsibly enhances the lives of older adults with Christ-like love.” Nowhere is that mission more fully lived out than in the work all of you do on a daily basis. Messiah Lifeways At Home Care - MealsSince I started with At Home nearly a year ago, I have come to know so many of you and have been moved by the dedication to and Christ-like love you show for your clients. I have witnessed you rearrange your own schedules to stay with a dying client, agree to a shift last minute to help with emergency coverage, call the office out of concern for your clients, and lend a hand to help each other out through picking up shifts and even offering each other childcare coverage. The work you do can be physically and emotionally hard, and yet you rise to the challenge. Home care is growing, and your services are in demand. Word is spreading through the community that you do excellent work. Please know that it does not go unnoticed and that we are thankful for the efforts you put into being the hearts and hands of Messiah Lifeways to our clients.

Messiah Lifeways At Home Care - Maintenance  Messiah Lifeways At Home Care - Help with Errands

Thank you for ALL you do!

Christina Weber, Director of Home Care Services


To learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home and how they can help you or a loved one age in place in the comfort of your own home, call 717.790.8209 or visit

Adult Day Programs: A Lot to Celebrate



Worthy of celebration all year long, adult day services provide care and companionship for older adults who need assistance or supervision during the day. These programs offer relief to family members and caregivers which allows them to go to work, run errands, or simply gives them time to relax, knowing their loved one is being cared for and safe.


Messiah Lifeways Adult Day offers inter-generational activity as one component of programming along with music, exercise, community outings and much more.

Affordable, flexible and stimulating
One of the greatest advantages adult day programs offer is their affordability. When compared to other forms of assistance, the median cost is very reasonable. According to the Genworth financials 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the average annual median cost of adult day programs nationally is $17,904, compared to the annual cost of assisted living/personal care which sits at $43,200 a year. Adult day (AD) programs can also be much more cost effective than if you were to hire non-medical caregivers for the same number of hours per day coming to the home. The national median daily cost of adult day is $69, which typically provides 8 hours of care, medication administration, a meal, snacks, activities and socialization. Furthermore, most states offer financial assistance through waiver programs and Medicaid.

“Adult day care and adult day health care are, without question, the most economical way to provide supervision and personal care for an elderly loved one on a daily basis.”

Adult day programs are also very flexible. Primary caregivers can have their loved one attend a program like this as many as five days a week or as little as one day per week. Many providers across the country offer full-day and half-day programs. They also have extended hours to allow for early drop off and late pick up, especially for those caregivers who have long work days.

Adult day programs fill a niche for many older adults who continue to live and focus on aging in place in their own home. For many there’s a part of staying in one’s own home that can actually be detrimental, which is the lack of socialization and stimulation, particularly with their own age bracket and peers. For caregivers and families who have a loved one living at home with them, quite often they can still feel isolated and, in certain cases, trapped in the home. Adult day programs are a great way for these loved ones to still get out, interact with others in similar situations, and participate in activities such as exercise, cooking, arts and crafts, special interests and speakers, and even religious ceremonies.

This gem of a program provides a great balance for the caregiver and loved one. Again it fortifies the ability to stay at home, but gets them out of the house on a daily basis to a caring and stimulating environment, but happily at the end of the day, they come home and sleep in their bed, in their own home, which is certainly worth celebrating.

If you’d like to learn about the Adult Day Services provided by Messiah Lifeways, please contact the Mechanicsburg location at 717.790.8224 or the Carlisle location at 717.243.0447 or  Also check out these great testimonials on adult day services.

”What to Do about Mama”- Book Review

Everyone is a potential caregiver – BGM & BTB

We have not done a book review in quite a while on the blog page. However, What to Do about Mama is categorically worth the read. It should not only capture the attention of previous and current caregivers, but it can also provide a potential glimpse into the future for nearly all of us. As the book states, “everyone is a potential caregiver” either for an aging parent, spouse, sibling as well as a disabled child, client, friend, or neighbor. The role of caregiver could be as short as a few weeks or for others it could last decades. Nonetheless, very few of us will ever be devoid of this altruistic and challenging role.

Co-authors Barbara G. Matthews and Barbara Trainin Blank open their hearts and bear their souls to share their challenging, heart wrenching, and insightful journeys as caregivers. Their personal stories, along with a host of other caregiving contributors, give detailed perspective on this physical, mental, and emotional roller coaster that it entails. Readers should heed the warning of how expectations, sharing responsibility, and the relationship between other family members can really deteriorate and/or shift. Furthermore, it highlights many of the unexpected realities of caregiving such as dealing with financial, legal, and medical issues of the care recipient.

Affirmation is also a big part of this book, particularly for those who served as a caregiver in the past. The relatable experiences can provide some absolution from the feelings of guilt, resentment, or remorse while “in the trenches.” If someone felt inadequate or felt guilty, What to Do about Mama shows that they are human and they should be proud of the job they did. For some of the contributors, I think the book was also a way to get those negative feelings off their chest without feeling judged. It helped them move beyond those difficult memories and to remember more of the joyful ones spent with their loved one.

For current caregivers, this is must read. As the authors express, this is not a caregiving textbook, and it is not written by “caregiving experts” but rather a guide featuring a collection of experiences and insights for caregivers by caregivers. It provides real world scenarios, anecdotes, and support to those in the position of caregiver. It tells the tale of what to do, what not to do, what did or didn’t work for them or what could work for you. They also reference funding sources as well as other resources to help your loved one age in place.

Lastly, the book also goes beyond caregiving in the here and now. It examines the residual effects of caregiving even after the loved one has passed, including the emotional aspect, relationships between survivors, and some of the legal and financial issues that can linger.

I recommend What to Do about Mama for anyone faced with the sometimes rewarding and sometimes unenviable task of caregiving for which most of us will encounter at some point in our lives. If you would like to learn more about this book as well as other resources to help caregivers manage and embrace the role along with avoiding caregiver burnout, please call the Messiah Lifeways Coaching office at 717.591.7225 or email