New Rate Structure for ADS Program

Important news about the Rate Structure of the Adult Day Services (ADS) program. Helping Hands Respite Care’s (HHRC) fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. About two months ago HHRC’s board requested an examination of the viability of raising our rates at the Adult Day Services (ADS) program.

It has been three years since the last time we examined our rates. It was discovered that for the level of care and the services we provide to our members and their families, the program was a “little” underpriced. However, an across the board price increase seemed unfair. Instead, a new rate program based upon the level of care each member needs while in attendance was proposed.

The Board agreed on this pricing strategy, and we have been working towards creating an assessment form that helps us determine the different levels of care to put in place. By the time you read this the final touches will be made on this assessment tool, and will be put it into practice as of October 1st of this year.

This assessment tool will be sent home with each participant over the next week or so, and we can share with you that the new rates will be as follows: Level one care (which is MOST of our participants) will remain at $13 dollars an hour. Level two will be at $15, level three $17, and level four will be $20 per hour.

The good news is that for anyone who is already in our system your rate will not go up more than one level as of October 1st. We realize money is tight for almost everyone, so even if we assess your loved one as a level four, because they have been a member in good standing at our Adult Day Services program, their cost will only go to $15 dollars an hour. We hope you appreciate our desire to keep our services affordable. Your trust in allowing us to care for your loved one is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we implement this new rate process.

Progress Report on Respite House Face-Lift

Progress Report on Respite House project. Pi Kappa Phi volunteers shown in group shot with tools.

We are working hard to get to the end of this project but wanted to stop for a moment to give you a progress report on the Respite House. You have all heard the old adage “the best laid plans of mice and men” – it means that no matter how you hard you plan, there will always be things that go wrong.

Well, when it comes to the Respite House project our best laid plans went both right and wrong. In the right column we have:

RIGHT: Our timely meeting with McLaren Greater Lansing’s CEO, Thomas Mee. What an affirming experience to know that our new friends at McLaren believe in what we do and graciously stepped up to help us close the funding gap for the Respite House Face-Lift project. The $16,000 raised, at last count has leveraged $45,000 in repairs, materials, and new appliances.

RIGHT: The 18 and counting donors who contributed to the Go Fund Me campaign. Many who have already been acknowledged on the same day or next day after their gift. Stay tuned for more on this topic. You can still help us enhance the Respite House experience for the kids by going to to make a donation.

RIGHT: The incredible and reliable help we received from Board VP, Jane Beaudoin and her husband Gary; the professional guidance and coordination from Board Member Sam Tucker who helped us make decisions about our projects and leveraged thousands of dollars of value from so many of his contractors and vendors for his Home Management Company (HMCO); and, Board President Kevin Beard’s willingness to step-up and pitch in on several fix-it projects. Staff member Dawn Todd for showing up to help us clear the decks for the work to begin and for bring her son Antonio Todd along for some of the heavy lifting.

RIGHT: Those volunteers who responded to our call to sign-up for work shifts: including Bob Conway father of Cassidy and Kylie, who value and count on our respite services; Bonnie Jordan and Stan Kranz, regulars at Kate’s Memory Café who showed up four times for work sessions; volunteer nurse Vicki Rakowski for pitching in to help with the basement clean-up (something that we didn’t put on our list but desperately needed to be done); and 10, yes 10, members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity who kept Volunteer Coordinator Katie Donovan hopping for a whole Saturday afternoon; the Life Leads group volunteers Sarah (plus her two boys, and Vyra; and the Ladies of the Lake – Gayle, Susan, and Jaye who responded to our Facebook request for help and took a shift which included prepping, painting, and cleaning.

And, in the WRONG column:
WRONG: With any home improvement project there will be surprises, and we had more than our share, including temporarily losing track of the toilet for the bathroom.

WRONG: Our two and a half week timeline expanded to more like four and there are still some lingering projects.

WRONG: We discovered a wall in the basement that needs some serious attention. Plus we had to delay replacing the basement windows because of lack of funds and other more pressing projects.

WRONG: Our daily work of the agency continued even though the Respite House Face Lift required lots of attention. Not going to lie – my daily productivity suffered here at the Administrative office, and the project suffered without a focused project coordinator.

WRONG: Communication and expectations were sometimes a problem. But, somehow we made it through.

So, you can see that our WRONG list was much shorter than our RIGHT list and there is lots more that I didn’t include in the RIGHT list. As we are approaching completion of this project it is easy to imagine the kids and the families that count on and deeply appreciate the value of this weekend respite program. We are all excited to turn it back to the staff, family and kids.

Volunteer Opportunities at Adult Day Services

Two ladies exploring volunteer opportunities

If your interest is helping older adults, we have some wonderful volunteer opportunities in our Adult Day Services (ADS) program. We are proud to have a program which is a well-planned schedule of individual and group activities which meet the varied needs of our member participants.

We would like to suggest a volunteer opportunity where you and a friend commit to coming on the same day (or days) for at least 3 hour shifts. In this way you will get to know our members better and faster. By committing to a regular schedule you will become a reliable partner in care.

Go to our website navigate to the Get Involved Tab and go to the Volunteer section in the drop down menu to download the Volunteer Application packet.  Or, email ADS supervisor Alison Sarkozy to request a packet.

Meet Leah Gavin – MSW Intern

Leah Gavin shown with ADS member Lucille during end of the day sing-along.

My name is Leah Gavin and I am a native of Detroit, Michigan. I attended Adrian College where I received my Bachelor’s in Social Work in 2015. During my time at Adrian, I realized that I would love to work with older adults. I was able to have my internship at the Lenawee County Department on Aging where I gained experienced in working at adult day services and conducting needs assessments for older adults. After graduation, I moved on to attending Michigan State University’s Advance Standing Masters of Social Work Program. My concentration is in Organization and Community Leadership with a focus in gerontology.

I have always felt interest towards working with older adults. I see that there is great need within the elderly population and I wish to make an impact on helping older adults and families receive the resources and services they need to cope with the many changes in life. I am very passionate about elder abuse prevention, Alzheimer’s disease, and providing programs and services for older adults. I would like to one day start up my own adult day service program and also oversee a non-for-profit agency for older adults in the community.


Leah will be an intern at Helping Hands Respite Care adult day services (ADS) for the 2016-2017 school year. In addition she will gain experience in learning the administrative and leadership aspects of working in an organization.