Black-owned senior day center suffered from COVID delays, but is now serving senior population

Beavercreek facility the only senior day center currently open in the area.

After seeing their own loved ones go through dementia and Alzheimer’s in their personal lives and seeing the need for senior care in their professional lives, one local couple opened Acclaim Senior Activities Center in September.

Paullecia “Pauli” Brown-Scott and her husband, Terrell, originally planned to open the senior day center in Beavercreek in March of 2020, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Acclaim is now the only senior day center open in the area, they said.

“We didn’t know if we’d ever open,” Pauli Brown-Scott said.

The couple said it was financially a hardship to continue to pay for the building, insurance and other items for nine months. The Brown-Scotts said the business community and other senior care facilities in the area rallied around them and donated furniture, books and food to help them open their doors.

Pauli Brown-Scott said she has worked with the senior population for over 20 years and saw a need for this kind of service, if someone has a parent or aging loved one that can’t stay home alone.

“A lot of family members don’t know what to do with their loved one while they’re at work,” she said. “Especially right now, caregiver burn out is huge.”

Acclaim offers social activities, specialized care for dementia and Alzheimer’s clients, basic personal care and assistance with walking, eating or taking medication to seniors while their caretakers are at work during the day. The center essentially gives the caretaker a break. The Brown-Scotts said they are the only senior day center in the area that specializes in dementia and Alzheimer’s care.

The senior day center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also offer transportation for clients. Most of their clients come during the work day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Pauli Brown-Scott said.

Acclaim offers day services at their facility and an in-home buddy program. Since they started during the pandemic, Pauli Brown-Scott said many of their clients when they first opened were in-home. Some are now transitioning into the program offered at the facility.

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Seniors are offered continental breakfast, a hot lunch, snacks and beverages while they’re at Acclaim. The facility has a workout room, a relaxation room and an activity room. The relaxation room has a TV, plush couches and a bookshelf chock full of books.

“When their loved ones drop them off, we want them to feel like they’re dropping them off at home,” Pauli Brown-Scott said. “We want our clients to feel safe.”

In the recreation room, seniors can play games or do educational activities. The room also has a few computers where seniors can browse the internet or learn more about using a computer and how to navigate technology.

“We’re all about maximizing their independence here,” Pauli Brown-Scott said.

If the pandemic allows, the couple said they’d like to take the seniors on field trips to see movies, get ice cream, go to the park and other activities in the spring.

The Brown-Scotts are screening every person who comes into the center, including taking temperatures. They are also testing all staff and clients for the coronavirus.

Pauli Brown-Scott said when her grandmother had dementia, she went to an assisted living facility and then moved in with her family, so she saw the toll it can take on the senior and the caregivers. The Brown-Scott family knows from experience the stresses of being a caregiver.

“It’s a calling for us,” she said. “We had a burning in our hearts to give back to the senior community.”

The activities the center offers are designed to help get seniors more mobile and engage them mentally.

“We want to help improve their quality of life. One of our client’s daughters pulled me aside and said ‘this is the best money we ever decided to spend’,” Pauli Brown-Scott said. “She said her mom is up moving around the house much more.”

Acclaim Senior Activities Center is a 5013 c nonprofit. It is family-owned and Black-owned. The Brown-Scotts said as African Americans, they often have to work harder than their peers, but they don’t let that interfere with the services they provide.

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“Our goal is to optimize independence for everyone, no matter your race,” Pauli Brown-Scott said.

Terrell Brown-Scott said they want a diverse clientele.

“We want to reflect America. We want people to feel like when they’re here, they’re home,” he said.

The Brown-Scotts said they hope to open a second Acclaim location before 2021 is over.

“The need for this kind of service is great,” Pauli Brown-Scott said. “And we want to meet people where they are at physically, psychologically and mentally.”

Acclaim is accepting applications for enrollment on their website. The Brown-Scotts can also be reached at 937-912-9061 to discuss enrollment.

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