Sunny Day Respite welcomed to Weirton

WEIRTON – The snow may have been falling outside, but the spirits were bright Friday as Sunny Day Respite was officially welcomed to the Weirton community.

Located in the former parsonage of St. Peter African Methodist Episcopal Church at 1052 County Road in Weirton, Sunny Day Respite is operated by Hancock County Senior Services.

It was opened with the goal of providing a short-term break to those caring for individuals with dementia and related conditions, including Alzheimer’s.

“Hancock County has more than 1,000 people with that kind of diagnosis,” Executive Director Mark Knabenshue said.

Knabenshue explained the first day with clients was March 11. They are open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Karen Mason serves as the site manager.

“We have five clients in line, and she’s getting calls throughout the week,” Knabenshue explained.

Sunny Day Respite has space for up to six clients at any one time, and will have a minimum of two staff members available throughout the day.

Mason explained they currently work with individuals with a diagnosis of dementia or a related condition, but who are functioning at higher levels, such as individuals who still are able to give yes or no answers, discuss their needs or express if they are in pain.

Payment for the service is in the form of a donation based on income levels, according to Mason, with the center also receiving state and federal funding to assist with some of its operations.

Hancock Senior Services Board member Marvin Six said Sunny Day Respite is the result of more than a year of work after recognizing the need for such services in the area.

“I hope this is just one of many facilities we have in the county,” Six said.

For more information about Sunny Day Respite or other programs offered through Hancock County Senior Services, call (304) 564-3801.

(Howell can be contacted, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)