Assistance available in Norco

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2005


Managing Editor

NORCO – Serving the River Parishes since 1987, Norco Adult Day Care at 425 Spruce St., offers assistance for those seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease, disabled adults, frail elderly and adults recuperating from strokes or surgery.

The agency is operated by Kathleen Landry, R.N., who notes that 70 percent of her clients have Alzheimer’s.

NADC operates weekdays, offering breakfast, snacks and lunch, and also hosts outings. “They’re so good for them,” Landry said of the outings, which range from visits to Ormond Nursing Center to visit friends to drives to clients’ old neighborhoods or just to watch river traffic.

Transportation for the outings is provided by Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and the St. Charles Council on Aging provides transportation to and from the NADC itself.

The center includes full and part-time personnel and a registered nurse on duty every day. There are also group social and recreational activities, nursing assessment and monitoring, team coordinated plan of care for each client, individual and group counseling and support group for families and friends.

Additionally, the center benefits by being neighbors with both Sacred Heart School and Norco Elementary, which students are frequent visitors.

“We also get a lot of high school students here, doing their community service hours,” Landry said. “They’re just so good.”

Norco Adult Day Care is a public, non-profit, non-denominational, United Way agency and Medicaid provider. It is governed by a seven-member, all-volunteer board of directors. For more information, call Landry at 764-9084.

At her program, Landry says she sees most forms of mental impairement, including dementia, as Alheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

Among the causes are medical conditions, brain injury, strokes, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, meningitus and others.

Dementia is a significant loss of intellectual abilities, including memory capacity severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning. It is reported in as many as 1 percent of adults age 60 and above, and the frequency doubles every five years afterward.

Studies have indicated that participation in leisure activities is associated with a reduced risk of dementia. This means that such participation lessens the risk by exercising mental activity.

Another study urges controlling blood pressure and cholesterol can also benefit by preventing or slowing the progress of most dementia.

Study author Dr. Kenneth Langa, an assistant professor of general medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, said, “Having risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol does damage to small blood vessels in the brain and can cause death of cells over time.” Further research, he said, is necessary.