The former St. John Bosco Chapel on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero has found new life as a senior daytime care facility after a $1.6 million renovation by the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.
The Mexican Baroque-style chapel, just south of 10th Street, will be blessed by Archbishop Gregory Aymond on Tuesday.
Its renovation is part of a three-phase project that aims to meet the growing demands of an aging population.
Hope Haven Adult Day Healthcare Center has been open since August and now has about eight clients as word of the center continues to get out, said Stephanie Smith, chief executive officer of PACE — Greater New Orleans, an arm of the archdiocese that operates its centers.
PACE stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.
Those eight users are private payers — the center charges $57 per day for services, meals and transportation — but Smith said that after PACE’s agreements with Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs are expanded in the coming months, enrollment should swell toward the center’s 96-person capacity.
The Hope Haven center provides health screenings, medication management, exercise classes, social activities, counseling and memory-enhancing activities.
The primary mission of such adult daytime care facilities is to provide basic care and support services to seniors who don’t need attention 24 hours a day, seven days week, allowing them to stay out of a nursing home for as long as possible.
“We’re attempting to meet the needs of those who are maintaining themselves pretty well but maybe have an aging loved one, with the goal of keeping them out of an institutional setting,” said Chantell Reed, PACE’s director of enrollment and marketing.
While seniors from all over the metropolitan area can use the center, Smith said, the archdiocese did a survey of the five-mile radius around the facility and found considerable demand on the West Bank through Wynhoven’s senior housing and nursing home facilities, as well as at West Jefferson Medical Center.
“There is definitely an aging population on the West Bank,” she said.
Smith said future phases at Hope Haven will include building an extension on the former chapel that would allow clients to be segmented by the level of care they need, plus conversion of the schoolhouse across from the church into a facility that could serve another 100 seniors.
Smith said PACE’s Shirley Landry Benson Center in the Bywater neighborhood is a long-term care facility with a more expansive slate of services than Hope Haven, though the West Bank center could be expanded to the same level of care if it gets approval from the state Department of Health and Hospitals next year.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.