The Adult Enrichment Center of Fort Mill was recently named National Outstanding Adult Day Center of the Year by the National Adult Day Services Association.
The center, located in the Avery Lake community, provides care for adults 18 and older with varying degrees of abilities and needs, including people challenged by dementia or with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“We are all extremely honored to have won this award,” said Samantha Kriegshauser, the center’s director. “We are very innovative and go above and beyond in order to help our clients.”
The Adult Enrichment Center, a not-for-profit, has a transportation service and is involved in various community outreach programs, such as the High Five Club, which stresses life skills and community involvement, and the Sunshine Club, a transition group for individuals who are interested in social activities and peer group fun. The Young At Heart Club is for those who need to stay close to the center and have more direct nurse supervision.
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It was recognized for providing an array of activities, including exercise and intellectual fun that uses iPads, smart TVs and other technology.
“There is nothing quite like seeing an 85-year-old with early dementia playing a good game of Angry Birds,” Kriegshauser said.
That’s not all.
“We keep people employed. We provide a place for people to send their loved ones during the day so they don’t have to leave their jobs,” she said.
Executive Director Frieda Price said the center’s clients gain self esteem and other benefits from being productive.
“It is really important they help others and not worry about themselves,” she said. “We show them what they can do, not what they can’t do. They can help at school functions or even walk a dog.”
The Adult Enrichment Center has more than 50 clients and 12 faculty and staff, though it is always in need of help.
“Volunteers are, of course, welcome any time,” Kriegshauser said.
Ted Matthews, a board member of the Adult Enrichment Centers of York County, said he believes it was the dedication of the staff that won the award for the Fort Mill center.
“The staff has been great and they truly go all out in order to provide for the clients whenever they can,” Matthews said . “It is our innovation which has helped us succeed in becoming the program we are today.”
The center was also recognized for its partnerships with groups like Tri County Literacy, which offers services for clients in the Adult Day Program.
Funded in part through a grant from the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, the center also relies on support from the Town of Fort Mill and local businesses, Kriegshauser said.
“None of these things would be possible without the overwhelming support of our families and the community,” she said.
To learn more or to volunteer, call 396-5336.