Media Room

Date: 12/18/2015

The Dialogue with Aundrea Scholem and Jennifer Madaj

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our ninth installment visiting with Aundrea Scholem and Jennifer Madaj at Foothills Adult Care Enrichment Services (FACES). FACES aims to excel in providing quality care, exceed expectations, and support seniors, their families, and the community to overcome barriers and promote a purpose driven life for seniors receiving supports.
Describe what FACES does. FACES provides day services to seniors with varying medical conditions to ensure optimal care, supervision, socialization, maintenance of skills, and new skills in a comfortable, home-like atmosphere. For some participants we may assist with activities of daily living, such as hygiene, meal preparation, and mobility. Other participants may need to experience increased socialization and exposure to creative environments and modalities to reinforce skills.
How did you get started in this business? Co-owners, Aundrea Scholem and Jennifer Madaj, met while working in parallel director roles at a local community organization that specializes in providing supports to adults with intellectual disabilities. As the demographics in programs, began having increasing numbers of seniors, we decided that there should be a better programming "fit" for senior adults, who may not have disabilities, and instead are dealing with issues and barriers related to aging. We also support local groups and organizations by providing volunteer support when we are available. We like to participate in food and supply drives, as well as walks and runs to promote education and awareness of diseases, disorders, and issues related to aging.
How did you both get started?

Aundrea Scholem is a nurse who has worked as the Professional Services Director and Case Management Supervisor for several years. Prior to these roles, Aundrea worked in various healthcare settings including hospice, geriatrics, home health, PICU, and surgery. Jennifer Madaj is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist with a background developing and implementing therapeutic programming for various groups including children,adolescents and seniors in a variety of settings including mental and behavioral health, substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation, and community settings.

Who is your mentor or biggest supporter? I would not be able to describe a mentor that has led me to this path. I believe the groups of seniors that I have worked with over time have helped shape the view I practice in terms of providing services. Our center is very person-centered and we believe that seniors should live with dignity. We offer seniors a community atmosphere for day supports, which promotes choices. We have been influenced at times by our previous experience in the disability services realm, but more by the concepts of person centeredness and outcome measures, which are commonly endorsed by community organizations. -Aundrea

Dr. Gene Hayes is a retired professor from the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies at the University of Tennessee in the College of Education. He is my mentor, and the person I most admire in my field. I had the privilege to study Therapeutic Recreation under the great Dr. Hayes. I not only learned TR from one of the greatest, but he also taught me valuable life's lessons, and that all people are capable of accomplishing anything (with a little creativity and adaptive equipment if necessary)! Dr. Hayes has helped and touched the lives of countless individuals through the camps he has created for people with specials needs and various disabilities, his students, community members, etc... I aim to help others with the skills he has shown and taught me. -Jennifer
Describe your customers. Our customers are senior adults who require supports, supervision, or socialization during daytime, weekday hours. Our customers are also the families and caregivers of the senior receiving supports. We want to provide a multitude of services which provide support and respite to caregivers. The community is our final customer. We work with other organizations and professionals to provide adequate care planning and referral information as needed.
What outside factors impact the business environment you work in? We are applying to provide CHOICES benefits for adults who receive benefits under a medical plan including Tenncare/Medicare. The rate of adult day care equates to slightly more than $8/hr for adults who receive a full day of services. Currently we are waiving application, admission, supply, and assessment fees until 2016. We offer part time care for families who need supports and do not qualify for or have long term care insurance options. Funding changes at the state level could eventually have an impact on our census distribution (how many people we can take who have Medicare or Tenncare) as cuts are made to Tenncare.
What do you enjoy the most? We enjoy providing supports to adults in an environment that has not been available to most aging adults in Blount County. We enjoy the crafts and programing, but there is a real charm about speaking with the people we support, and realizing that they have been through most of the same things that we are going through. All of the participants have been able to give us amazing advice, often unsolicited, but we feel like we are gaining an infinite amount of knowledge from the lessons and experiences that the participants are willing to share with us.
Any additional comments? We do have slots open for full-time and part-time participants. If you don't know what adult day care is, or if you are curious to see how our program operates, we are happy to show you around. We are hosting a holiday open house on December 12th from 3:00pm- 7:00pm. We will be serving hot chocolate, cider, coffee, and desserts. We would love to have as many people from the community as possible, pop in, let us introduce ourselves, and take a look at our facility while it is all snazzed up for the holidays!! We are located at 1732 W Broadway Avenue. Our phone number is (865) 980-8023.