Darlene Smith, from Barnesville, was promoted to new Facility Director for the Tamaqua Area Adult Day Care Center.

In addition to serving as facility director, Smith, who has worked at the center about 5 years, will also continue to serve as activities coordinator.

"I've always enjoyed working with elderly and listening to their stories," said Smith, who's mother, Arlene Yoder, 82, is also a participant at the center. "My reward is making them happy."

"Our center is a nonprofit center that provides social and mental stimulation to seniors and persons with disabilities," added Smith. "Our staff and volunteer board members work hard to coordinate a program of services in a community-based group setting. The center is designed to provide services during the day to adults who are in need of supervised care in a safe and secure place outside the home. We also affords family and caregivers respite from the demanding responsibilities of caregiving."

"In addition, our professional and compassionate staff strive to make participants happy, as well feel needed, our center provides participants the opportunity to remain as independent and self-sufficient as possible, while increasing feelings of self-esteem and dignity," added Smith. "This can help them continue to live at home and even prevent or delay institutionalization, which in turn provides relief for families from constant care, and to regain or maintain a responsible level of functioning."

A 1978 graduate of Tamaqua, Smith's education includes courses at Lehigh Carbon Community College involving early childhood education and special education, social and psychological courses, human resources and human behavior.

Smith, who also has been a Certified Nursing Assistant, CNA, over 20 years, has certifications for CPR, first aid, Depart of Public Welfare Medication, Medication Administration and Trainer Course.

Her experience at the center includes serving as both program assistant and activities coordinator for the center since 2008. During that time, some of her responsibilities included planning and directing the activities of the center, providing employee training and evaluations and care-plans for each participant the center. She also served as facilities director when Koles was away.

Smith credits family, friends, co-workers and residents for her promotion. She married to Robert Smith, who serves as a police officer in Allentown, and has one daughter, Sabrina Fritzinger, and one granddaughter, Kassandra.

Before working at the center, Smith also served as a CNA for the St. Luke's Hospital in Coaldale from 1995 to 2004. Responsibilities there included bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, ambulation an providing activities for daily living for the participants.

The center, founded in 1991 and located at 300 West Broad Street, is licenses by the Department of Aging for those participants who are 60 years of age and older. Services are also available for those under the age of 60 based on individual assessment. Services provided include therapeutic recreation, stimulation activities, nutritious breakfast, hot lunch, afternoon snack, administration of prescribed medications, door-to-door transportation via STS and Carbon Transportation System (CTS), hairdresser, occasional daytime trips, seasonal entertainment, visiting podiatrist, and personal care: to include help with toileting, walking and eating.

For more information about the center, call Smith at (570) 668-6556 or arrange to stop Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.