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Day Haven adult day care service may come to Riverhead

Day Haven, an adult day care program, could be coming to Riverhead.

While a contract still needs to be finalized and approved, the Riverhead Town Board showed interest in moving the plan along at last Thursday’s work session.

Day Haven provides what’s known as a social model program because it does not provide medical services to participants. It currently has locations in Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma.

Since 1984 it’s offered older adults and those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias a place for socialization opportunities, with supervision and assistance for daily living activities, according to Lori Maldavir, manager of program development and government relations. “It’s sort of the next level of care above a senior center,” she said Monday in an interview.

Typically, the people who participate in the program live at home with adult children or spouses and are looking to go somewhere during the day and engage in therapeutic activities, such as music, art or cooking, Ms. Maldavir said.

The idea is that if participants are actively involved in cognitive, physical and social activities, they can maintain their functioning for as long as possible, she said.

The proposed program would rent space from the town at the former site of Riverhead Country Day School on Columbus Avenue, where Riverhead Town will host its youth and intergenerational services. Day Haven’s current centers are involved in intergenerational activities, which are part of the program’s mission, Ms. Maldavir said.

It’s not clear what hours the program would operate during the week in Riverhead, she said, but Day Haven’s other centers usually host participants for a six-hour day and provide breakfast and lunch.

While it helps adults in need, it also gives their caregivers some respite, allowing them to work during the day and take care of themselves, Ms. Maldavir said.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” Judy Doll, head of the town’s senior citizen department, said at the work session. “I can’t wait for it to happen.”

It’s a service town residents “desperately need,” Supervisor Sean Walter said at the work session.

“Let’s get this done as soon as we can and get it ready for signature,” Mr. Walter said.

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File photo: The former Riverhead Country Day School. (Credit: Riverhead News-Review)