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News Story
Updated: 06/22/2013 08:00:01AM

Elderly care in jeopardy

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PHOTO BY CASSIE JACOBY


Wanda Murphy would have to quit her job to care for her 65-year-old husband Dennis, who has dementia, if the Lake Wales Health Day Care Center closes due to low enrollment.

PHOTO BY CASSIE JACOBY


"It's a blessing," says Marilyn McKnight about the care her 88-year-old mother Annie Pearl Ramsey who has dementia receives at the Lake Wales Adult Day Health Care Center that may have to close due to low enrollment.

PHOTO BY CASSIE JACOBY


Wanda Murphy would have to quit her job to care for her 65-year-old husband Dennis, who has dementia, if the Lake Wales Health Day Care Center closes due to low enrollment.

PHOTO BY CASSIE JACOBY


CNA Darlene Daniels plays bingo with 65-year-old Dennis Murphy, who has dementia, and other clients at the Lake Wales Health Day Care Center that may close due to low enrollment.

PHOTO BY CASSIE JACOBY


Polk County Commissioner Melony Bell is trying to find alternatives to closing the two of the county's Adult Health Day Care Centers in Lake Wales and Bartow due to low enrollment.

By CASSIE JACOBY

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Caregivers who vowed to keep their loved ones at home and out of a nursing home are worried that they won’t be able to keep their promise if the county’s Adult Day Health Care program is reduced.

Despite the price tag of $821,296 a year to operate the centers in Bartow, Lake Wales, Haines City and Lakeland, county commissioners are exploring options to continue providing the service. But a proposal to save $258,000 by closing centers in Bartow and Lake Wales while consolidating participants to Lakeland and Haines City where enrollment is higher, has sparked a flood of letters from constituents such as Wanda Murphy who pleaded to keep the Lake Wales center open.

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