As Oklahoma ages, adult care systems become more strained

What is Adult Day Health Services?

Adult Day Services is an organized day care program for functionally impaired people over the age of 60 and developmentally disabled people. The service began in Oklahoma in 1983 as an attempt to offer a community-based option for people who wanted to avoid being left alone during the day, while remaining in the home with family at night. Adult Day Services allow caregivers to work during the day while knowing their loved ones are in a safe environment.

Michael Avila pushes his way into a pat on the back from his teacher Leonilda Jones during a day at Metropolitan Day Center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, August 26, 2009. Michael, 38, has cerebral palsy. He doesn't speak, explains Jones, "laughing is his way of communicating, and hugs. He loves to hug." By John Clanton, The Oklahoman

Part 1 - The Struggle L

The Client

Thirty-eight-year-old Michael Avila paces his front lawn each weekday morning, awaiting the 6 a.m. bus that carries him to Oklahoma City. Read More / Slideshow

The Administrator

As the executive director of the Metropolitan Better Living Center, Jacquelyn Parks freely accepts her fate in an industry where getting rich is as likely as winning the lottery. Read More/Watch Video

The Centers

A list in alphabetical order of all adult day health service centers in OklahomaRead More

Mary Brinkley, President of Oklahoma Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, talks with legislators at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. By John Clanton, The Oklahoman

Part 2 - Finding the Money L

The Advocate

As executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Mary Brinkley fights on several different frontsRead More

The Social Service Workers

Lance Robertson works at the state funding epicenter for Oklahoma’s adult careRead More / Watch Video

The Legislator: Sen. Connie Johnson

Sen. Connie Johnson is seeking reform in the distribution of state money. Read More

The Legislator: Rep. David Dank

Dank calls adult day services “one of the most important, if not the most important”Read More

The Bill: HR 3043

Federal aid might be on the way to help Oklahoma adult day care services.Read More

Clyde Coulter touches his head to his great-grandson Charlie's head during a visit at Clyde's home in Oklahoma City on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. Clyde's daughter Tina Taylor and his son Clyde care for him after complications from surgery to remove a tumor near his brain left him in a wheelchair and in need of 24 hour care. By John Clanton, The Oklahoman

Part 3 - Uncertain Future L

The Family Caregivers

a cattleman, farmer and avid outdoorsmen. Clyde G. Coulter stood 6-foot-2, tipped the scales at 300 pounds and wielded a pair of sledgehammer hands. Then it all vanished. Read More / Slideshow

The Caregiver

For the past 12 years Debbie Scott has cared for people in every way imaginable at an adult day health services center in Oklahoma City.Read More

The Ambassador

If adult day services are to become a viable option for Oklahoma’s growing elderly population, Bill Weaver is convinced it will come down to one thing – education.Read More / Watch Video

Updates and Related Content

Oklahoman Editorial: Adult services an example of funding challenges

House appropriations subcommittees began meeting this week with state agency directors regarding the budget crunch. The Department of Human Services gets an hour on Thursday. A month might not be enough time. Read More