A new ministry for senior residents of Henry County is set to kick off next week in Stockbridge, thanks to the efforts of a pastor at a local church.
Light of the World Christian Tabernacle is scheduled to launch an Adult Daycare program, Monday, at 5883 Ga. Highway 155 North.
"It's like a home away from home for active seniors, who have the opportunity to be around other seniors during daytime hours," said Rickie Holmes, assimilation pastor at the church. "We feel like we are called to give back to the community, and we really want to minister to seniors ... because we know that adds years to their lives. The other reason we're doing it, is because there's a need in Henry County for this service. It's a community-based ministry, and a practical fulfillment of needs.
"We want our seniors to know that we are here for them," Holmes continued. "We want to allow our seniors to come here in a safe, clean, wholesome, healthy, professional environment ... This will enhance their life, and allow them to live longer and have fuller lives, because they have a lot to give. As a church, we want to be part of their good memories," Holmes said.
The adult daycare program, a non-profit entity within the church, is separate from offerings conducted the Henry County Senior Services Department. Holmes said his program provides a caring, Christian environment, professional staff, individual care, diverse activities, healthy meals, games, field trips, arts and crafts, and exercises" for participants.
"We will have a nurse on staff to monitor them, and make sure they have whatever they need," he said. "In the process, I've also provided transportation for those who are requesting it."
Holmes added that the Adult Daycare program is Medicaid-approved, and accepts private-pay plans.
"Depending on what they can afford to pay, we will go down as low as $15 a day," he said. It will be open each weekday, from 9 a.m., to 3:30 p.m., for up to 35 people.
"We will have opportunities for extended care on Saturdays, if there is a need for it," Holmes said.
District V Commissioner Bruce Holmes attends the church and supports the Adult Daycare program.
The commissioner — no relation to Rickie Holmes — said he learned about issues facing seniors locally, after talking with staff members at the Hidden Valley Senior Center, in Stockbridge.
"There was a desperate need for an adult daycare," the commissioner said. "Many of the seniors who go [to Hidden Valley] are healthy, can find their way to the senior center and can find their way home, but there is not a place where seniors that have limited capacity, or limited ability to move around, can go fellowship with like-people, and be provided services during the day."
Commissioner Holmes said the daycare program will provide a good resource for people who work during the day, and cannot adequately care for their adult loved ones.
"You can go to the senior center on any day, and you'll see some seniors out in the lobby, just sitting there, with nobody to talk to," he said. "There's nobody to care for them, because that's not really what the senior center is all about. I think this is a great service that Light of the World is doing, and I think it will be very successful. I think people in this county will benefit from it."
For more information, call Rickie Holmes at (404) 557-4643.