White and Yellow Cross opens day care for dementia patients on St. Maarten


~ Signs care contract with SZV ~

PHILIPSBURG--Persons living with dementia in St. Maarten now have a place to spend their days, thanks to the September 10 opening of a day care centre for dementia patients by White and Yellow Cross Foundation (WYCF).
The opening of the centre for the provision of this new service in St. Maarten was made possible through White and Yellow Cross Foundation's signing of a funding agreement with Social and Health Insurance SZV on September 20 to cover the cost of care.

"It is a new facility of the WYCF, catering to clients who live at home and suffer from a form of dementia, often Alzheimer's disease. These clients can now spend the whole day at the therapeutic day care, staffed and managed by the WYCF," the foundation explained in a press release.

As the manager of the national insurance programme AVBZ fund, SZV pays for care of the chronically ill and handicapped. Via AVBZ they finance care that is not covered by the "regular" insurances available on the island.
"SZV realised that an important care product was not yet available on the island, namely a therapeutic day care for elderly who live at home and suffer from dementia, a debilitating illness of the brain. In the past, the only option was admission in the nursing home, when relatives no longer could handle the intense, round-the-clock care of their loved ones," WYCF said.

"Together, the SZV and WYCF designed the plan to start a day care and negotiations proceeded smoothly. The festive signing ceremony at the day care was the conclusion of this joint venture and both parties expressed happiness with the outcome and results, cementing the excellent relationship between the insurance and health care providers."
The new facility is located on the second floor of the new Sister Basilia Centre in St. John's Estate. It is open on all workdays, from 8:00am to 5:00pm, matching the hours that most family members and relatives are usually at work and cannot care for their loved ones. "An elevator easily transports the clients to the day care and there they enter a tranquil, therapeutic environment, catering to everyone's individual needs.

Each client is assessed on his or her possibilities and paramedical services (such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and dietician) are available to offer complete care."

The centre is staffed by Unit Leader Julie Sandiford and a team of trained nurses who will be giving personal, quality care. Currently eight clients have joined the day care and four more are expected to join soon. The total capacity is 15 clients and it is expected that the centre will be full by the end of this year.

Persons who are registered at the Department of Civil Registry or who are paying AVBZ taxes are insured via the AVBZ fund. To qualify for admission into the new day care, persons must present proof of right to AVBZ insurance (census registration paper or pay slip); a copy of valid health insurance and a letter of a psychiatrist, confirming a dementia diagnosis.

After WYCF receives these documents, its social worker conducts home visits, and assesses the clients' needs. An AVBZ-care request and a special score form are filled out, which WYCF submits to the SZV for approval. Once the client is approved for admission into the day care, the family is asked to ensure transportation to and from the St. John's location. When needed, WYCF can assist with this.

Approval from the SZV for participation in the day care is given for six months in the rfirst instance. This is dconsidered a realistic timeframe during which all parties can observe if the client is adjusting to the new facility and if attendance is regular. Approval may be renewed after six months following evaluation by SZV and WYCF.
Additional information on the new day care facility can be obtained by calling tel. 553-5506, or WCYF's general number 548-4431.