The eyes of Homeplace president Claire Russell bulged a bit Friday when she was asked about the attention from Georgia Public Broadcasting. Her one sentence statement seemed to highlight the feeling of the staff at the adult daycare center.
"We are so humble. It is just an honor to partner with the state and the Thomson-McDuffie area and surrounding communities and to take care these people and have an impact on their lives," she said.
Jeannette Cummings, director for the CSRA Regional Development Center Area Agency on Aging, is interviewed by GPB producer Jesse Freeman Friday at The Homeplace.
Photo by Jim Wallace
A crew from GPB was in town to shoot footage of the home for an upcoming eight-minute video, which will hopefully help other communities in the state and nation develop their own daycare programs. The video is receiving national attention, even though it is not scheduled for release until August.
"Our department has gotten requests from agencies on aging from 25 states all over the country. It seems everyone is trying to find a way to provide daycare services to senior citizens in rural or hard-to-reach areas," said Cliff Burt, caregiver specialist with the Georgia Division of Aging Services.
The Homeplace enables clients to get the most of their independence and be happy while receiving cost-effective, supportive services in a holistic, compassionate and respectful manner.
Jesse Freeman, GBP producer and cameraman Brud Gotts whisked around The Homeplace Friday taking footage of the staff, clients and their activities.
Jeannette Cummings, director for the CSRA Regional Development Center Area Agency on Aging, was also highlighted. Her agency was the fire starter for the effort at mobile daycare, according to Mr. Burt.
"This program in McDuffie County was the first mobile daycare program in Georgia and since mobile daycare started in McDuffie County, we wanted everyone to see this program and how it has evolved into a five-day-a-week program," he said.
Mr. Burt said other homes would have a part in the video.
Clients of The Homeplace play ball while GPB cameraman Brud Gotts films for a video being produced that will show other communities nationwide the advantages of developing their own daycare programs.
Photo by Jim Wallace
"We will also be filming in other parts of the state that now have mobile daycare service at least one day a week and some as much as three days a week, but none on the scale of McDuffie County," he said.
A hundred copies of the video have been ordered, and Mr. Burt said more would have to be made.
"With the interest we already have, we will have to print more. I was in Albany, N.Y., doing a presentation to an entire state conference, and I already have seven requests from that state for a copy of the video," he said.
Ms. Cummings said even with the attention, the effort to help senior citizens is continuing.
"We were looking and are looking at ways to get a cost efficient service for the senior citizens in rural communities. We can't afford to hire staff in every county, so we think this is a way to bring clients from surrounding counties to something like this," she said, adding she was proud to see the state thought the idea deserved such attention.
"What's gratifying is to see the administration on aging saw the vision, and they funded this concept at the initiation of the Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services, so they were the pioneers in making this happen. This is a group idea. It's a timing issue, and its time has come," Ms. Cummings said.