EDMOND — You can never repay a grandparent's unending love — but Deidra Johnson is going to try.
Johnson opened Forever Young Adult Daycare in Edmond last month as a tribute to her grandfather, who died two days before the two had planned to move from southern Texas to Oklahoma City.
The center offers daytime care designed primarily for senior citizens. The structured activities, social interaction and supervision provide an alternative to a long-term care facility, Johnson said.
Forever Young charges $50 a day, plus $10 a day for transportation to and from clients' homes.
Johnson said she wanted to keep prices low to give families the type of care she never could have afforded for her ailing grandfather, whom she cared for until his death in 2010.
‘This is all for him'
Johnson, 28, moved in with her grandparents as a child after both of her parents died. On her 13th birthday, her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
The girl and her grandfather made a deal: if she helped take care of her grandmother, he would make sure Johnson was taken care of after he died.
Johnson held up her end of the agreement. She stayed in Texas for college and helped care for her grandmother until the woman died in 2007. When Johnson's grandfather began to suffer from depression and dementia the next year, Johnson cared for him as well.
She worried that her grandfather didn't have much time left, so she made plans to move to Oklahoma City, where he could be near his sister.
He died two nights before the move.
Johnson moved to Oklahoma by herself. When she received her inheritance, instead of using it to take care of herself, she decided to pay it forward.
She quit her job at Farmers Insurance and started putting together a business plan. Johnson became certified as a nursing assistant, and in March she purchased a former video production facility in Edmond.
Forever Young held its ribbon-cutting ceremony June 7 and has been serving clients ever since. Johnson said the center is a tribute to her grandfather, who would have turned 90 this week.
“This is all for him … I couldn't give him the care he deserved when he was still alive, and I've seen families in similar situations,” she said. “They're just trying to make ends meet.”