Choice in Aging (CiA) has been providing services to the community’s frailest people since 1949, when it was created by volunteers to serve children severely disabled by Polio. Over the years, the organization has provided a wide variety of programs, with the goal of promoting dignity and independence of people with disabilities and special needs. Our mission is to create opportunities where people can learn, grow, and age independently with dignity in community.
Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) is a program that was created in California in 1978 in response to a need to have an alternate solution to institutionalization. The program mirrors the skilled nursing staffing model, but is based in the community and typically operates during the day on weekdays. It is akin to a senior center for those who can no longer attend a senior center independently. It is especially beneficial for those who need additional support to do things like ambulate, eat, toilet, participate in activities and more. Staff provides therapeutic activities disguised as fun throughout the day, making socializing and exercising meaningful and pleasurable. This makes folks want to come back each day!
When it began, the goal was to prevent costlier care and provide respite to caregivers. Over the decades, there has been a great deal of industry reform and the program now serves a very frail population and eligibility is complex. Payers may, depending on contractual relationships and eligibility, include Medi-Cal, the Veterans Administration, Regional Centers, Long-Term Care Insurance, scholarships and private pay.
Our oldest Adult Day Health Care program serving central and southern Contra Costa County is the Mt. Diablo Center (MDC). MDC was the 16th licensed ADHC in California in 1985. It is unique in that it provides nursing, physical, speech and occupational therapies, social work, transportation, and a healthy meal. Most importantly, the program provides a sense of community all disguised as FUN, while giving caregivers and their families much needed respite. MDC also offers a licensed program, called Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Center, for people who are in the mid to late stages of Alzheimer’s or related dementia. Additionally, we provide special programs for monolingual Russian speakers and monolingual Farsi speakers to better meet their cultural sensitivities. Our facility is large and allows us to provide multiple therapeutic activity options for 60-70 people per day. We are also a teaching institute and take advantage of opportunities to provide internships for CNAs, nurses and social workers.
We also provide ADHC at The Bedford Center, the only licensed adult day facility located in Antioch, which serves East Contra Costa County. Our second ADHC was named for Ray Bedford, a long time supporter and board member. The center began as a one day per week program at Concordia Lutheran Church founded by Pastor Roger Kuehn in 1980 to serve frail and isolated elders and to give their caregivers a break. The center moved to its current location at 1811 C Street in 1984 and expanded the program to 5 days a week to meet the demand for respite care. East County Day Care Center merged with Choice in Aging in 1995. The merger created the only adult day center in East County providing social work, nursing, physical, speech, and occupational therapies, transportation, as well as providing a nutritious lunch and snacks.
In 2017, we introduced Contra Costa County’s premier intergenerational Montessori preschool, Choice in Learning Montessori. The integration of the preschool into our programs has enabled us to develop an intergenerational component called the Young at Heart program, which fosters openness, diversity, and respect for older adults as a core value of the children’s development.
Choice in Aging is dedicated to exceeding the expectation of care for our clients. In addition to changing the way our participants feel when we provide them care, we also work to make sure our impact goes beyond just how our community, politicians, and state view our seniors. We do countless outreach and advocacy efforts each year to ensure that seniors are a priority. We aim to please not just our clients, but also their caregivers and loved ones. We feel our job is done correctly when the entire family is happy with the care and support received. As an organization, we are proud to participate in both state and federal advocacy efforts in ensuring rights for seniors to age with dignity in their own homes.
In addition to the aforementioned programs, Choice in Aging provides other services such as transportation, community education, and more. We are also a teaching institute and take advantage of opportunities to provide internships for CNAs, nurses, and social workers. Choice in Aging is the only agency providing the wide array of long-term supports and services required to maintain dignity and independence in the frail and older adult populations.
Choice in Aging operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, and national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Any person who believes that she or he has been aggrieved by any unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI may file a complaint with Choice in Aging by calling 925.682.6330 or by visiting the administrative offices at 490 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. A complainant may file a complaint directly with the Federal Transit Administration by contacting the Office of Civil Rights, Attention: Title VI IProgram Coordinator, East Building, 5th Floor-TCR, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. If information is needed in another language, call 925.682.6330.