When the bus pulls up in front of Nancy and Allen Gulino’s home in Northwest Phoenix, it’s time for Allen to head to the Foundation for Senior Living’s Adult Day Health Services Center in Glendale. Awaiting him is a day packed with activities, socializing, exercise and lunch. There’s a snack too, if the return bus isn’t early.
By the Numbers
Square footage of the current FSL Adult Day Health Services Center in Glendale
Square footage of the forthcoming FSL Adult Day Health Services Center in Glendale
Clients served per day in Glendale
Number of staff
Number of clients transported daily
Amount granted to FSL by the “Together” campaign for the new building
“I don’t drive, so it’s great,” Nancy says. “I really can’t get along without support.”
Come next spring, the bus will be headed to a brand new facility, paid for in part with funds raised by the “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign.
Married since 1975, the Gulinos share a common diagnosis: multiple sclerosis. They are both in wheelchairs, though Nancy is a bit more independent. Allen spends four days a week at FSL’s current adult day health center, something Nancy says offers significant support. Though she can occupy herself watching television or using the computer, it helps that Allen can participate in activities and join in the camaraderie at the health center.
“He gets bored so going there definitely helps him. He’s got other people to look at instead of staring at me all day,” Nancy quips.
The trivia games number among some of Allen’s favorite activities at the center, Nancy said. “He’ll come home and he’ll say to me, ‘Do you know what the smallest state is in the U.S.?’ He’ll question me on what he thinks he can surprise me with.”
Valerie Blair, director of FSL’s Glendale Adult Day Health Services Center, was on the team that helped design the forthcoming new facility that will be built at 67th Avenue and Paradise Lane.
Foundation for Senior Living (FSL)
FSL was founded to improve the quality of life for adults and their caregivers without regard to race, religion or social status.
The “Together” campaign is supporting FSL’s three charisms: Faith, Service and Life with $1 million for FSL to purchase a new West Valley facility to better serve their clients and expand their ministries.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” Blair said. “There will be a lot more space. Even if we have like 50 or so people today in the current building, it seems very crowded. In our new building, I don’t think we’ll feel crowded.”
The new facility will feature a large media room, small group areas, individual bathrooms that are each handicapped accessible, conference rooms to meet with families plus a large area where all the clients can assemble.
“Right now we have only two big rooms,” Blair said. The new facility will include three or four big rooms plus some smaller rooms, a quiet room and an exercise area, she added. A shower room will be located near the laundry facilities, another time and step saver. The two nurses on staff will be able to do their charting as they look out through a glass enclosure that allows them to observe clients.
Not all of those cared for at the center are elderly. A number of them have traumatic brain injuries. The center offers families a break from long hours of caregiving and also allows loved ones to remain in the work force.
Tom Egan, CEO of FSL, said the Diocese of Phoenix was the first in the community to offer support for the new facility. “It is one thing to have a dream, but when Bishop [Thomas J.] Olmsted said we are going to help you with this project, it made our dreams of a larger facility that can serve twice as many people every day begin to become a reality,” Egan said.
Noting that in his talks with seniors he’s found that 90 percent of them want to age in place rather than nursing homes, he said the FSL “helps people achieve those goals of maintaining their independence and dignity through a wide array of services.”
Pointing to Pope Francis’ call to serve the elderly, Egan is encouraging the faithful to support the “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign.
“I need your help to heed Pope Francis’s call to all people to care for the elderly, to treat them well, to help them maintain their independence and dignity,” he said.