When it comes to the Bedford Center, Peggy Dillon quotes former first lady Rosalynn Carter: "There are four kinds of people in this world: Those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who need caregivers."
And that certainly seems to be the focus of the Antioch care facility, which has been helping elders for 33 years.
"Baby Boomers have a new label -- the Sandwich Generation (taking) care of parents and children, which can be overwhelming," said Dillon, outreach coordinator. "The (center) strives to give purpose to elders while providing respite for their caregivers."
To help keep it all running smoothly, the center will host its 22nd Italian dinner on Oct. 12. The fundraiser runs from 6-9 p.m. at the Antioch Senior Center, 415 W. Second St. Festivities include live music, an auction and raffle. The four-course dinner features Kinder's tri-tip, Panera Bread, pasta, salad and dessert.
Making it a full community event, the Antioch Rotary of the Delta will prepare the meal and Boy Scout Troop No. 450 will serve it.
The Bedford Center is the only licensed adult-day program serving East County, according to Dillon. Every year, more than 60 "frail and disabled adults are served, and their families are provided education, counseling, support and referrals."
Adult day health services are available in a group setting weekdays, "allowing family members to go to work or take a break with the confidence their loved one is in a stimulating, caring and safe environment." Also included are full-time nursing services, social work, physical, speech and occupational therapies all "disguised as fun."
Program director Kristy Osborn said, "Therapeutic activities are the core of our specialized program. Each activity is designed to promote competence, optimal functioning and an improved quality of life."
Activities include occupational and physical therapy activities in the form of games, music and art therapy, discussion groups and brain fitness games.
"The most popular activities at our center include the parachute toss-up game and painting, since all can enjoy and participate in these," she said.
Osborn said she and the small staff are grateful for their roles. "To be able to do the work we do and provide the services are priceless ... We all share a common passion for the (people) we serve."
Bedford has participants from Antioch, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Discovery Bay, Oakley and Brentwood. The majority of the clients are insured by Medi-Cal, with about 10 percent private pay and the rest part of the scholarship program from donations and grants.
Bedford also hosts the California Community Transitions project. The transition coordinators work with Medi-Cal clients in skilled nursing facilities to get them back into a safe and supported community living situation.
In 1980, the Bedford Center began as the East County Senior Day Care Center, a one-day-per-week program at Concordia Lutheran Church founded by Pastor Roger Kuehn "to serve frail and isolated elders and to give their caregivers a break."
The program expanded to five days in 1986. In 1995, East County Senior Day Care Center merged with Rehabilitation Services of Northern California. It was renamed in 1999 to honor long-time supporter and board member Ray Bedford after his death.
Admission for the fundraiser is $25 for adults and $15 for children under 12. For tickets, call 925-778-4171 or visit www.rsnc-centers.org.
Reach Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net.
What: Italian dinner to benefit Bedford Center
When: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 12
Where: Antioch Senior Center, 415 W. Second St.
Tickets: $25 for adults and $15 for children under 12.
Info: Call 925-778-4171 or visit www.rsnc-centers.org.