By Tim Priebe
October 19, 2021

Relief for caretakers of adults with disabilities

Daily Living Centers is an adult daycare service that provides caregivers with a much-needed break.
Jessica Clayton is the President and CEO of Daily Living Centers (Photo: <a href="https://edmondbusiness.com/author/brent-fuchs/">Brent Fuchs</a>)

On 2nd Street in Edmond, just west of Coltrane, a former martial arts studio is being repurposed to serve adults with disabilities ages 18 and older. The nonprofit that is renovating the space is Daily Living Centers.

DLC provides an opportunity for caregivers to take a much-needed break. They are an adult daycare service that includes health monitoring from their professional staff of CNAs and LPNs.

Daily Living Centers participant with his artwork (Photo provided_

Daily Living Centers serves the Oklahoma City metro with four locations. While they already had a facility in Edmond, their new 9,000 square foot facility will give them more room to provide activities and programming based on the individual needs of their participants. Their transportation department consisted of twenty-three vehicles, including limos, wheelchair-accessible vans, and sedans.

The history of DLC

In 1974, a group of individuals partnered with Areawide Aging and the YMCA to found Daily Living Centers as a therapeutic daycare center for impaired, homebound, and older adults. In 1977, the program operated out of the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. In 1980, they earned their United Way Designation.

A milestone in their growth occurred in 1987 when they hired Bill Weaver as their Executive Director. He went on to lead the organization for 29 years. Under his leadership, DLC became the first licensed adult daycare facility in Oklahoma. Even now, DLC is the largest adult daycare provider in Oklahoma.

A new CEO

Daily Living Centers participants celebrating victory in activities (Photo provided)

In June 2020, Jessica Clayton came on board as President and CEO. “I was looking for an opportunity to make an impact in the lives of others,” she said. “I loved what DLC stood for and felt that with my skill set, I could help them grow to serve more in the community.”

When Clayton joined, the world was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We serve the most vulnerable in our community,” said Clayton, speaking to the challenge when she joined the team. “We have worked hard as a team to make sure our caregivers, participants, and staff are healthy and safe.”

Clayton arrived just in time to lead the organization both through that challenge and the acquisition of the new facility in Edmond. “This center will help us better serve the Edmond community as well as expand our services to rural areas,” Clayton shared.

Another ongoing struggle is the lack of awareness of their organization. “We are Oklahoma’s best kept secret,” Clayton said, “and many caregivers do not know our services are available.”

Services DLC provides

Daily Living Centers participants creating art (Photo provided)

Adult daycare for older adults and adults with disabilities involves a lot of services. They provide healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. They provide a space for socialization, activities, exercise, music, and art therapy. Their fleet of vehicles is a vital part of their transportation services, which includes bringing participants to and from their facilities, field trips, doctors’ appointments, and pharmacies.

Since their participants are at-risk, they take special care to reduce the spread of infections. “We are proud of our robust infection control program,” Clayton shared. “DLC has a dedicated infection preventionist on staff.”

Those services wouldn’t be possible without the help of others. “We would not be able to offer our robust services and programming without the support of our volunteers, nonprofit community, and business partnerships,” said Clayton.

She added, “Our Edmond, Bethany, and South centers are blessed with the opportunity to have Bella SPCA bring dogs to our centers for our participants to play with.” They also utilize many volunteers from different organizations and universities in the area.

Positive impact and stewardship

Clayton views their success over the years as the result of two things: making a positive impact on people’s lives and stewardship.

“Daily Living Centers is a successful organization because we have touched and made a positive impact on so many lives within our community,” she explained. Clayton wants to be a good steward, both of the legacy she has inherited and donated resources.

“I came to Daily Living Centers with the opportunity to grow and do so many great things because of the past leadership of Bill Weaver and Donna Bowers and Nelson Miller,” she said, adding, “We want to be wonderful stewards of all resources given to DLC. We are grateful for all those who support our organization with their time and treasure.”

Jessica Clayton is the President and CEO of Daily Living Centers (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

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About Tim Priebe

Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.