Vermont adult day centers to receive $5 million in COVID-19 relief funding

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Adult day centers in Vermont will soon share $5 million in coronavirus relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, Governor Phil Scott’s office announced Wednesday.

Adult day centers offer older Vermonters a place to socialize with peers while their caregivers get a much-needed break, said Sue Chase, executive director of CarePartners Adult Day Center.

“Oftentimes, families are having a hard time placing loved ones in long-term care facilities, and so they turn to adult day as a resource,” Chase said. “We’re trying to serve as many people as we can.”

CarePartners is located in St. Albans, and for 14 months, the program couldn’t serve anyone in person at all. That ended in mid-May, but they’re still working their way back.

“Right now, we’re operating at about 35% to 40% capacity, and I’m hopeful,” Chase said. “We’ve actually been successful — we did hire an additional staff person earlier this week — and we can kind of be broadening the number of folks that we can support.”

Heather Filonow, director of community care services for UVM Health Network – Home Health and Hospice, said the pandemic forced the closure of two of its three centers.

“We’re operating one of three sites right now,” Filonow said. “Our South Burlington center is operating, and we are operating at full capacity right now for this site.”

Staff members with the two programs are expecting to learn, later this month, exactly how much ARPA money they’ll get. CarePartners has requested about $100,000, while the UVM Health Network – Home Health and Hospice Adult Day Program has asked for $130,000.

“Our adult day (program) provides a safe space for folks to be during the day so they can work and not worry about them — they’re getting healthy meals, activities — or just providing caregivers respite to do errands, have lunch with somebody,” Filonow said.

This isn’t the first pandemic relief funding provided for the centers. They have already been granted nearly $7.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

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