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Kootenai Health transferring adult day care operations to Bennett House

Nov. 13, 2017 Updated Mon., Nov. 13, 2017 at 8:18 p.m.

Kootenai Health is closing its adult day care center, but it’s working with another provider to ensure a smooth transition for clients and their families, officials said.

Beginning Dec. 1, Bennett House Adult Day Care Center will begin providing care for former Kootenai Health clients.

Owner Rick Bennett founded Bennett House in 2014 with the goal of creating a residential-type setting for adult clients who need a place to stay during the day while their caregivers run errands, go to work or take a break. The center provides care for adults affected by stroke, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Down syndrome and other issues.

Bennett said he’s working with Kootenai Health to reduce disruption for clients during the transition. He’s looking for a larger space to expand Bennett House’s operations. Until he secures new facilities, clients will be served at the current Kootenai Health location at 521 Emma Ave.

“We’ll be operating as close to the current program as possible,” Bennett said. “The seniors are the most important people in this process, and change is difficult for our clients.”

Bennett House is currently licensed for 12 clients. After the programs combine, Bennett expects to serve 20 to 25 individuals daily.

Bennett House is in the process of getting certified as a Medicaid provider. Until the certification is complete, Kootenai Health will continue to bill Medicaid clients. The charge for services will not change, Bennett said.

Bennett spent four years caring for his mother, who had Alzheimer’s, before she died. The constant attention she required left him feeling exhausted, isolated and depressed.

“I’m excited about the opportunity we have to make a difference is people’s lives,” Bennett said.

Kootenai Health alerted clients’ families in late October that its day care would cease operations, said Kim Anderson, director of communication. The center started operations in 2001.

Anderson said Kootenai Health regularly reviews its programs to assess whether the health system is making the best use of its resources and space. In terms of adult day care facilities, she said, it was more efficient to have one community program rather than two competing operations.

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