The Town of South Kingstown made the difficult decision to suspend operation of the Adult Day Service program effective June 15, 2020. The program had been closed since March 13, 2020, by order of the Governor, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 11, 2020 the RI Department of Health announced that Adult Day Service providers could resume services under new guidelines that address preventive measures against the virus. The new regulations call for significant operational adjustments in Adult Day settings, including a reduction in the number of participants per day and the establishment of stable groups of a maximum of five to minimize cross contact of participants and staff. After determining how staff would be able to safely manage the program, it has become clear that operating it under the COVID-19 restrictions is financially unsustainable. Because of these necessary changes, and the uncertainty related to when restrictions for elderly care settings will be lifted, it has been determined that the program is not financially sustainable under the current guidelines.
South Kingstown Adult Day Services was established by the Town in 1989 as a division of the Senior Services Department, and provided care for frail seniors, in a secure social setting, as well as respite to caregivers. The program is funded through a combination of Medicaid reimbursement, client payments and annual budgetary commitments from the towns of South Kingstown, Narragansett and North Kingstown.
Non-institutional care for frail, older adults is a critical community resource. In the longer term, the Town is committed to finding a path forward that will ultimately re-establish a local Adult Day program. This will take some time and likely be delayed until the pandemic regulations have either been loosened or removed completely.