Over 37 years ago Ecumenical Adult Day Care was established in Naperville to provide a social and stimulating environment for adults in need of daytime care under the watchful eye of professional health care workers. Individuals could be dropped off at this facility by their loved ones who could then work or do their normal chores without worrying about leaving their elderly family members at home alone.
While this adult daycare continued to get clients, their overall census kept declining causing some major concerns among their current board. SCORE was contacted in the fall of 2017 by the Board President Ms. Marian Stricker.
SCORE certified mentors George Safford and John Panarese volunteered to mentor this client. One of the first recommendations they made was to conduct a focus group to identify the root causes for the declining census.
A Strategic Planning Session was held to review all aspects of the operations including their Mission, Vision, and Measurable Goals. This was the first such session held by this Not-for-Profit entity since its inception in 1983. Based on this session a Marketing Plan was initiated during the 1st Quarter of 2018. Part of the overall marketing plan was to have a fund-raising gala to celebrate Riverwalk’s 35th Anniversary.
This strategic session initiated major changes in the organization to include personnel, mission/vision statements, marketing, a name change (to Riverwalk Adult Day Services), and website/business logo. Key goals were established to promote the increase in client appeal and census. An Executive Director was hired who is skilled and motivated. With her social work background, she can teach dementia workshops and nine-week caregiver workshops.
In 2019 and 2020 additional strategic sessions were held to review the current progress of the Score mentor team recommendations and to further develop a professional marketing plan prior to the COVID Breakout. Positive signs were evident due to the hard work of the board, the staff, and the new Executive Director.
Since Fox Valley’s SCORE’s mentoring, this provider is looking to grow 3-fold in the next 5 years, has achieved dementia-friendly status, was a participant on the Naperville Task Force that achieved city-wide dementia-friendly status, was approved as a State of Illinois Community Care provider, Veterans Administration Program provider, low-income Medicaid provider and worked with the State of Illinois on defining the COVID protocol required prior to reopening. Just recently Riverwalk Adult Day Services has been adopted by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce as one of their key support services for 2021.