A new day program for adults with developmental disabilities is now available at the B&L Agency, LLC on Pike Street in Marietta.
"For 20 years we've had an in-home program, taking care of individuals with developmental disabilities in their own homes, but we just recently decided to provide adult day care services," said Breanna Lane, coordinator for the new B&L Agency program.
Dubbed "Chrissy's Adult Day Services" (C.A.D.S), the program operates from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday in the B&L Agency location at 1001 Pike St.
"We named the program in honor of Christena Springer, a young woman with Down Syndrome that my aunt took care of for many years," Lane said. "I grew up with Chrissy. We have a large family, and she was like one of us. But she passed away last February."
Lane's aunt, Brenda Frazier, owns and operates the B&L Agency which provides 24/7 in-home care for about 35 people with disabilities in nine homes located in Washington, Morgan and Monroe counties.
"I had met Christena in 1987 while working for Havar, Inc., an agency similar to B&L," Frazier said. "She was from New Matamoras and her parents were George and Judy Springer."
Chrissy's Adult Day Services is a new program at the B&L Agency, LLC, a state-certified entity that's served those with developmental disabilities for 20 years.
The C.A.D.S. program is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1001 Pike St. in Marietta.
To learn more about the program, call the B&L Agency at 373-8272.
An open house event is scheduled at the agency at 2 p.m. May 10.
Source: B&L Agency, LLC.
Christena was having a hard time adjusting to life in the Havar facility, but enjoyed spending time with Frazier's children when they visited. So Frazier asked Christena's parents if they would allow her to live with the Fraziers. The Springers gave their consent and Chrissy moved in.
"She was in our home for 16 years, until December 2010 when we had to move her into one of our agency's homes because Chrissy had developed Alzheimer's and she needed to have someone with her all the time," Frazier said.
Lane said Chrissy had a great sense of humor.
"She was extremely ornery," she said. "But she loved her friends and family, and enjoyed having a lot of kids around. Chrissy liked cookouts and participated in the Special Olympics-she loved to swim."
Feb. 1 marked the first anniversary of Chrissy's death, and Lane and Frazier wanted to do something special to honor her memory, so they opened the C.A.D.S. program to area folks with developmental disabilities.
"Even if people are not B&L clients, they can come here for the day services," Lane said. "Their family or caregivers can bring them here or we can provide transportation if needed."
She said the Pike Street facility has room for up to 15 people, and individuals do not have to come every day of the week. But she noted C.A.D.S. is not a daycare program where clients are simply watched by staff all day. There are plenty of learning activities that may include how to keep a clean house, how to safely operate simple kitchen appliances or sometimes just maintaining personal hygiene.
"These may be things they haven't been taught at home, and we're pretty flexible," Lane said. "The idea is to get them out of their home setting where we can help teach them a variety of life skills. We want to help them become contributing members of the community."
The program is funded with federal and state Medicaid dollars, and B&L Agency staffers can help families or caregivers fill out the necessary documents to participate in the program.
"We have about 40 people on staff and 35 clients now," Frazier said. "We're like a big family, so this is not like a job for us. We just want to help make a difference in people's lives."