Thirty-five Scottsdale families are on the hunt for a new adult day care center, but they are finding few solutions.
The Foundation for Senior Living center at McDonald Drive and Granite Reef Road is one of the only places in Scottsdale that cares for senior citizens and adults with disabilities, and abruptly announced late last month it is closing July 12 because of financial struggles.
The news left many of the families scrambling to find answers.
“There are no options,” said Scottsdale resident Phyllis Mulholland, whose 82-year-old mother had been attending the center three days a week. “It was real perfect how things have been. What am I going to do? I don’t know.”
Now, the families that use the services regularly are having to find other solutions, such as going to centers in Phoenix or Tempe.
While Scottsdale operates community senior centers, none of them is equipped to handle that level of care, said Human Services Director Connie James.
“They haven’t contacted us to see if we do have other spaces in the city that could be utilized,” she said. “We would have been happy to talk.”
James said one possible location is the former senior center downtown.
The Foundation for Senior Living is a nonprofit under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, which also runs centers in Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe and Tolleson.
The facilities handle medical care, meals and activities during the day.
The foundation was slated to receive $6,500 from Scottsdale this year to support the adult day care center, said human services planner Cindy Ensign.
“I’m in the process of working with them on that,” she said. “We need to figure out if the funding is still appropriate. It’s possible if Scottsdale clients were going to other facilities the money could travel.”
The organization is now contacting all of the families that use the center to find alternatives, such as busing the clients to other facilities or increasing home-based care.
But Mulholland said her mother isn’t ready for full-time home care.
“She really needs the social part of it,” she said. “It’s just very sad because a lot of people will end up staying home again.”
Foundation spokeswoman DJ Salas said even if there were an empty building available in Scottsdale, it would take nearly six months to meet the specifications for medical licensing.
“They did their due diligence and for whatever reason nothing has come to fruition,” she said. Managing a nonprofit means dealing with very limited margins — if any, said Foundation for Senior Living CEO Guy Mikkelsen. Although the organization received reimbursement from some governmental and other programs, it wasn’t enough: The center cost $11 a day and received $8 a day in reimbursements, he said. “The social and health services system is extremely fragile,” Mikkelsen said.