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Cleveland Adult Day Cares Reopen Monday, But Will Look A Lot Different

Eliza Bryant Village, on Cleveland’s East Side, will reopen its adult day care center at half capacity on Monday, per a statewide order.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week that adult day cares across the state can reopen Sept. 21. All Ohio adult day care and senior centers have been closed for nearly six months, after DeWine ordered them to close March 23 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

When they reopen, these facilities, which provide care and companionship for older adults who need assistance or supervision during the day, will be a lot different from their pre-pandemic operations, said Jeanna Davis, Eliza Bryant Village's director of adult day services.

“We’re going to do more individual puzzles, more individual activities,” Davis said.

For example, instead of playing the Wii together or sharing a remote, seniors will do arts and crafts, word searches, puzzles and other individual activities, she said.

The changes will be difficult for some of the seniors. It will be hard to keep those with dementia from taking off their masks or to tell them why they can’t socialize the way they did before, Davis said.

“When they come to us, they’re anticipating some socialization with their peers, so now we’re separating them,” Davis said. “Everything looks different.”

However, not all former clients plan to come back to the center.

“Some people are hesitant in not sending their loved ones back until they come up with a vaccine,” she said.


Paula Morrison's mother, Lucille, may not return to the Eliza Bryant senior day care after it reopens Monday. [Paula Morrison]

Cleveland resident Paula Morrison takes care of her 86-year-old mother Lucille, who has dementia. Before Ohio’s stay-at-home order, Lucille was going to the Eliza Bryant Village Center every weekday.  But Morrison says her mom's health has declined, and she's not sure if she'll return. 

For those who do return, the staff will do everything they can to keep them safe, including frequent cleaning, regular testing for COVID-19, requiring masks, and keeping seniors in smaller groups to minimize spread, Davis said.

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