National Adult Day Services Week, How a Local Man Benefits

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About a year ago, Irv Lange was pretty down on his wife shirley's idea to make him a member of Partner's Place in Eau Claire, but a chance encounter with another member during their tour changed all that.

"He knew him," his wife Shirley said, "and that convinced him that it might be ok."

Since then Irv has been there one or two days a week, spending time with about 10 other members who follow a structured day of "failure-free" activities.

"Whatever we do, there isn't necessarily a right or wrong, it's the whole experience is kind of fun," said Program Director Gary Polden.

"My husband likes to play bingo-that's one of the things he can do yet."

Meanwhile, that frees up Shirley, who once worked as a nurse, to volunteer at Luther Hospital once a week.

"That happens to be the day he's here," she said.

But the main benefit of all this is for Irv.

At Partners Place, he's got the chance to be around other people.

"I always tell my staff, it's like we're having an open house, we're having a party," said Polden.

Since Irv was a soldier years ago, he doesn't have to pay to get in.

"The VA will automatically pay for one day a week regardless of income level."

What started as Irv's chance encounter with an old friend is making the only Eau Claire adult day service facility in a home setting actually feel kind of like home, and other members of Partners Place seem less like partners, and more like family.