Adult Care Center Shutting Down, Leaving Daughter of Dementia Patient Scrambling

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A daughter must face difficult decisions on what to do with her mother after the adult care center she’s enrolled in announced it will close its doors at the end of the year.

“My mom's 85 and she lives with me, but at the hospital they were like, you know, place her in this nursing home and that's going to be your life,” said Amy Mimouni.

Amy’s mother Betty was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a condition that caused her to have vivid hallucinations. Mimouni says a nursing home wasn't an option.

“And I thought...I can’t do that, my dad died when I was little, so taking care of my mom was a promise to him that I wanted to keep,” said Amy.

She found the Luther Park Adult Day Center in Des Moines, which allowed her to keep the promise she made to her father.

“I’m able to go to work and give her some place to go during the day that I felt comfortable with. From then to now, you wouldn't know it was the same person that left the hospital,” said Amy.

But that is all in jeopardy. After just 22 months in business, the adult day center is closing its doors. It's are losing money and doesn't have enough participants to break even.

“It takes about 35, and our roster has fluctuated between five and maybe up to ten,” said Jeff Wilsher, CEO of the Luther Park Community.

Wilsher says despite a full-blown marketing campaign to try and find more participants, the center will be shutting down at the end of the year, leaving Amy scrambling to find another place for her mother.

“Wow...ok...so the world you knew for a year and a half, two years is gone,” said Amy.

Amy says even if she can find a new place for her mother, the change in routine would devastate her.

“With dementia, the more you can keep the same, the less they have to think about their routine, and the more comfortable they are with people, the more they can be themselves and the less worry and less stress. It keeps their symptoms under control,” she said.

There are two other care centers Amy is considering, but she says she can’t afford one and the other doesn't offer the same services as Luther Park.  That leaves her with a tough choice.

“I had a small panic attack the other day when I was like, 'Oh my god, I can't even count Christmas and New Year's week, so I have, like, two weeks to figure out something'. If it were in my power to keep this place open, I would in a heartbeat,” she said.

The rest of the Luther Park Community will remain open.