Family Keeps Nance at Adult Day Services for 25 Years
Twenty-five years later, Connie Nance is still grateful that she answered a job ad that brought her to Catholic Charities and its Adult Day Services (ADS) ministry. Not only did she find employment that has helped support her family, but her family grew beyond blood relatives to include the many program participants that she has served through the years.
“I’ve stayed here 25 years because of the people,” Nance said shortly after celebrating her milestone anniversary with Catholic Charities. “We are here because they need us; I consider them my family.”
People like Herman and Stephen, both of whom have been part of Nance’s life for 20 or more years.
“Stephen used to come to ADS three days a week,” Nance recalled. “When he moved to a group home, he started coming every day, telling us ‘I want to be with Connie five days a week.’”
Adult Day Services provides an affordable, quality day program, helping adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and seniors coping with Alzheimer’s, dementia or loneliness. Program participants benefit from group and individual activities, socialization, care coordination, transportation and nutritious meals in a safe and enriching environment.
When Nance’s husband of 30 years passed away 15 years ago, it was the staff and clients at ADS that kept her going.
“Our clients are caring people and are attuned to the feelings of other people,” Nance said. “Being around them every day helped me cry less because they would want to know why I was crying.”
Looking back, Nance said “during my first 10 years, I never thought I would get there, but the past 15 years have gone by fast.”
Now, Nance said her goals are to work as long as she remains healthy and able, and to be around to move with clients to a renovated ADS campus in 2021.
“I want to see the new building,” she said. “We’ll be able to serve people better without being separated in two buildings like we are today. We’ll have room to stretch out a bit and we’ll have everyone in the program together.”
Catholic Charities has purchased the former Michener Elementary School in north Wichita to serve as the future home of Adult Day Services. A capital campaign is underway to raise the funds to renovate the building and 5.5-acre campus. The Blessing Families, Enriching Lives campaign has a goal of raising $5.2 million that will renovate the 25,600 square foot building. Planned renovations include updating electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems; adding multiple ADA-compliant restrooms and changing areas; transforming the old gym and locker rooms into a generous kitchen and dining/activities space; and creating an accessible outdoor recreation area.
Catholic Charities has until March 31 to receive gifts or pledges that will be matched by a $750,000 challenge grant from the Tulsa-based J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.
ADS Enrolling Now
Adult Day Services is now enrolling adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and seniors coping with Alzheimer, dementia or loneliness for its enriching day programs. For more information, call (316) 942-2008.
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St. Joseph Pastoral Center
437 North Topeka st.
Wichita. KS 67202-2431
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Wichita is a 501(c)(3). All gifts are tax-deductible.
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The Wichita Diocese covers 20,021 square miles and includes 25 counties in the southeast corner of the state. It is home to over 114,000 Catholics in 90 parishes.