Adult Day Services will mark its 30th anniversary of service to local seniors and adults with disabilities on Thanksgiving Day.
To celebrate the milestone, the nonprofit service organization is planning a daylong open house on Tuesday, Nov. 20, with music, food and entertainment for the community that has helped sustain and expand its program and anyone who may be in need of its services in the future.
The “Day in the Life of Adult Day Services” anniversary party will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday in the ADS community room at Keystone Community Center, 603 Bert St. A continental breakfast will be available throughout the morning and refreshments in the afternoon. Entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day with performances by several of the dozens of volunteers who regularly visit ADS to help make its clients’ days more interesting.
Guests who arrive before noon will be treated to music by Rhodyjane Meadows, Robyn and Scott Hill’s Stuck In Time band and country music connoisseur and ADS board member Jim Green. The celebration will take a whimsical turn in the afternoon with performances by a couple of other ADS regulars — professional clown David Claunch and his storytelling sidekick Libby Tipton of the East Tennessee State University Storytelling Program.
“It’s nothing special, just what we do every day,” ADS Executive Director Pam Gardner said. “But we really want this celebration to be open for people who have a need and may have heard of us to come here and see what Adult Day Services is all about.” Equally important, Gardner said, there are the many longtime community partners — individuals, corporations, churches and other local organizations — ADS wishes to show its appreciation to with a celebration honoring their years of support and in-kind gifts.
Since beginning work in 1982 in the lower level of Grandview Christian Church on University Parkway, there have been many milestones for ADS and more than 1,900 clients and families impacted by its services. After starting out with 20 clients, the program made its first move to larger facilities in the former Keystone Elementary School in 1994 and in 1996 relocated to the former Henry Johnson School while Keystone was renovated for use as a community center.
In 1998, the program served 35 full-time and 50 the part-time participants but reductions in state funding for client slots have since reduced its numbers to 46 full- and part-time participants.
Gardner counts the implementation of the federally funded Choices program that allows Medicare waivers for low-income seniors and disabled adults to take part in the program as one the program’s major milestones because it recognized the cost savings of assisting to people with disabilities who otherwise would be forced into nursing homes because of their need for help with basic needs like nutrition and hygiene. The state’s agreement to allow ADS to accept private pay clients is another, Gardner said, because it opened the program to everyone regardless of their financial standing and for the first time allowed ADS to generate its own revenues.
Looking to the future, Gardner said the program is close to expanding its services to veterans.
For more information about the ADS program and the anniversary celebration, visit the Adult Day Services Facebook page or the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency website at www.fthra.org, or call the center at 928-8855.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article omitted the date of the open house. Though the anniversary will be Thanksgiving Day, the open house will be Nov. 20.