Giving seniors and their caregivers the respite they deserve


Many of us are living longer lives, and caring for aging — and sometimes ailing — loved ones is a reality. For Maria Wyckmans, the pressures of care-giving are compounded by a responsibility for both the older and the younger generations.

Maria takes care of her 86-year-old mother and 89-year-old father-in-law, both of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and who live with her and her husband. In addition to tending to the older generation in her family, Maria also is a grandmother of six and watches her three grandchildren several times each week. Although Maria, a registered nurse, has both the heart and skills needed to tend to the needs of her large family, she also welcomes a break for herself — and an outing for her mother and father-in-law.

In her search for assistance, she discovered HonorHealth Adult Day Healthcare, offered through Desert Mission. Adult Day Healthcare offers a place where seniors can spend the day in a setting that’s friendly, dignified and stimulating while caregivers enjoy a break from their responsibilities.

"It’s amazing because it gives me a break, and I know they are well taken care of," said Maria.

The professional staff at Adult Day Healthcare welcomes seniors into an active environment that includes health monitoring by a registered nurse. Seniors enjoy activities both on- and off-site, including arts and crafts, exercise, bingo, field trips to restaurants and museums, and inter-generational activities with children at HonorHealth Desert Mission Lincoln Learning Center next door.

"They love it here," Maria said of her mother and father-in-law. "They love the activities, they love the field trips, they love the socializing, and they love getting away and having their independence."

Most of all, though, Maria says they adore the staff who makes them feel at home. "They love the people here, and I love the people here,” said Maria. "They’re the sweetest, most caring people, and they’re always there ready to help."

Contributions from the community make the Adult Day Healthcare program available to more families like Maria’s who need a respite from the around-the clock duties of care-giving. "It is such an important thing to take care of our seniors. A lot of time seniors don’t have family, and this is like an extended family" said Maria.

Support the Adult Day Healthcare program and other HonorHealth programs by donating online.