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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

If Trump was is in a real adult day care center we’d all be much better off.

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HuffPost and others tell us that

Twitter Flips For Bob Corker’s ‘Alert The Daycare Staff’ Hashtag For Trump

This is how the Washington Post put it:

Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, on Sunday called the White House “an adult day care center” after President Trump attacked him in a morning Twitter tirade.

Setting off an extraordinary squabble between two leaders of the same party, Trump alleged in a trio of tweets that Corker “begged” him for his endorsement, did not receive it and decided to retire because he “didn’t have the guts” to run for reelection next year.

In response, Corker (Tenn.) tweeted, “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

I get his point. However, he uses this expression in a demeaning way to those who need such care and he shows a total lack of understanding of real day programs for adults. Then again, even though he is attacking Trump, he is a Republican and I’ve come to expect such insensitivity from them.

Unfortunately we would be far better off if Trump was in an actual adult day care center. I know. I used to be in charge of one of them, one which in fact was considered by many in the Michigan mental health community to be a trailblazing day treatment program for adults who had once been hospitalized for severe chronic psychiatric disorders.

I described the Mason Mental Health Center Day Treatment Program as follows in a website which was achived after the primary site went offline:

The program’s co-ordinator, Linda Ward came on board and developed a humanistic program where the emphasis was on relating to the clients with empathy and warmth, while working with them to establish mutually acceptable and realistic goals. Staff was always willing to reach out to clients during times of crisis and physically go to where the clients needed them to be, whether it be a group home or the public library where one of them might be having a panic attack.

Because the town of Mason, Michigan was uniquely accepting of our clients, many of whom lived in group homes there, a hallmark of the program was its success in involving our clients in community life. Jackie Lawrence deserves much of the credit for this. She began working for the program as a secretary, but before long it became obvious that the clients were drawn to her and vice versa. She had an extraordinary knack for outreach, politics, and community relations. As soon as we had a vacancy, I hired her as a mental health worker and she has been an energetic anchor for the rural aftercare program in Ingham County ever since. (All the therapists have retired or moved on to other jobs since I wrote this.)

Photo: Mason Mental Health Day Treatment program, as befitting a rural  program,
had a large vegetable garden. They not only sold fresh produce to local supermarkets;
but donated vegetable to the local food bank. The staff pictured are Steve Polzin holding a watermelon, Barb White in the lavender blouse, and coordinator Linda Ward, seated in front. To protect confidentiality, client’s faces have been covered with cutouts from a magazine because at the time I didn’t have Photoshop software.

When the program closed due to budget cuts, I moved to run another mental health center in Clinton County, and Ms. Ward move the program to a small house in Mason, Michigan and renamed it the Rural Outreach Program where it became a kind of drop-in clubhouse for the same clients. It continued to have great success in improving the lives of clients assuring that few if any had crises which required hospitalization.

They hired Dr. David Picone as their psychiatrist who continued the humanistic approach to relating to clients as people not defined by their diagnosis. Unlike most psychiatrists who do medication clients seeing them for short sessions to look for side effects and compensation, he met with all the clients in a group for an hour or more. He got to know them as human beings and could observe how they functioned with each other and the staff.

Only then would he meet with each of them individually to review their medication.

My sister was an art therapist and worked in a large program for developmentally disabled children and adults. This program was also highly regarded and in fact to be honest there was a certain amount of chaos there, but it was quickly and compassionately dealt with by the staff.

I also know something about memory care programs since the Continuing Care Retirement Community where I live has a nationally top rated one. There dedicated staff and supervisors assure that rarely if ever could the term chaotic be used to describe what life is like there.

While Corker’s Tweet is bound to get under Trump’s skin, I wish he had found another way to express his observation that Trump was unhinged and needed professional supervision.


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