SUMMIT, NJ - Employees and volunteers of SAGE Eldercare caroused alongside the elderly men and women they take care of everyday, as they celebrated the 35th birthday of the Spend-A-Day Adult Day Health Center. Liveliness and energy pervaded the festivities.
Zoom the clown, aka Earl B. Hicks, kicked off the celebration with balloons, sing-alongs, and dancing, as the clients and workers alike moved and sang with him, lending each to each their energy, positive attitude, and vibrancy that has become what SAGE and the Spend-A-Day Center have come to symbolize for all involved.
After his performance, Zoom, in his fourth year of performing at SAGE, said of the Spend-A-Day volunteers and SAGE staff “They make this the best senior facility in New Jersey. Their energy sets the mood. They are off the charts here at SAGE.”
The Spend-A-Day program has been in service since 1975 providing a safe, secure environment in which seniors enjoy group and individual activities that stimulate the mind and body and provide peer support. The program is for individuals that feel isolated and desire companionship, can no longer structure their own daily activities, cannot be safely left home alone, or are in need of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, depression and more.
Ralph Calabrese, whose wife Elizabeth is a client at Spend-A-Day, said “the reason we come here is because the staff is top notch. You just have to interact with the staff to see how they care. The really know what they are doing here.”
Catherine Lindblad is 95 years old and attends the Spend-A-Day program twice a week. Lindblad's daughter, Dorothy Linden, said “the staff here is very caring. The clients are involved with a lot of activities, and there is always a medical staff on hand.”
Linden spoke of how her family has benefited by her mother's attendance at the program, stating, “She's more alert when she comes home. She shares with us what she's done for the day.” Linden also added, “I'm sure there are a lot of older folks out there that would just love to come here.”
After Zoom the clown left the building, the party moved to another room where participants were greeted by DJ/comedian Jerry Castalado. Castalado had the room grooving to artists as diverse as 50 Cent to The Village People, all the while cracking a good natured commentary on the party’s participants.
The celebration offered what the Spend-A-Day program has been offering clients for 35 years: stimulation of both mind and body.