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Facility offers unique care for seniors and children

DOVER — This summer, a new preschool learning center and elder care respite center opened on Reimer Avenue.Tina Evans, one of the co-owners of the Golden Goose facility, said that the company grew out of a need she saw in the community.She said that there were no options that offer activities and socialization for elderly people in a safe environment so that primary caregivers can go to work or run errands without worrying about their loved ones.“Most injuries happen when a frail senior citizen is home alone,” said Evans.The preschool is one of just a few other options in the town, said Evans.Besides filling a need in the community, Evans said that the Golden Goose is unique in two significant ways.First, the building is arranged in themed rooms. Usually, she said, preschools are in one large room, but at the Golden Goose preschoolers move among six different rooms, just like the students will do once they enter grade school.The senior center also has themed rooms designed to be like a home setting.The second unique aspect of the facility is that the seniors and children have the opportunity to interact if they choose.Several times per week, the two groups have the chance to spend time together, usually while working on art projects.“It’s natural that children look to older adults [to learn] and adults look to children for youth,” said Evans.She went on to say that there are facilities on the West Coast that mingle seniors and young children, but she believes that the Golden Goose is one of the first in New York state.The two halves of the facility are kept separate for the majority of the time and each has its own entrance.Evans stressed that socialization is important for both groups, but especially for the seniors.“Socialization is huge. It keeps their minds sharp and passes the day,” she said. “Loneliness is a silent killer in the senior community.”The senior center is available for independent seniors who need non-nursing care.“We take care of family members as if they were our own, in a home setting to make them as comfortable as can be without making it feel like an institution,” said Evans.The facility is contracted with the Hudson Valley Visiting Nurses, and Evans hopes that the Golden Goose will expand its services in the future.The preschool is available for children age 2 to 5. Spots in both the morning and afternoon sessions are still open.Evans said that the Golden Goose has “a very inviting, peaceful feel to it.”“People coming in, they don’t want to be anywhere else,” she said.For more information about the preschool or to register for the 2011-12 year, call 845-750-4081.For more information about the senior enrichment center, call 845-242-5971.

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