Adult day care centers, also known as adult day services, have been providing a form of respite for caregivers for more than thirty years. The number of centers has increased sharply over the years to keep pace with the demand for home and community based services.
Adult Day Services are daytime programs designed to need the needs of adults who need supervised care during the day while returning to their homes or the homes of their loved ones in the evenings. Regular use of the health and social services offered in these programs helps reduce the risk of hospitalization and provides access to health and social services in a supportive environment. Many family caregivers can continue working when they take advantage of adult day programs for their loved ones.
Adult day care centers provide a break (respite) to the caregiver while providing health services, therapeutic services, and social activities for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, chronic illnesses, traumatic brain injuries, developmental disabilities, and other problems that increase their care needs. Some adult day care centers are dementia specific, providing services exclusively to that population. Other centers serve the broader population.
One difference between traditional adult (respite), both group and in-home care, and adult day care is that adult day centers not only provide respite to family caregivers but also therapeutic care for cognitively and physically impaired older adults.
What are the benefits of Adult Day Care?
Adult day care allows caregivers to continue working outside the home, receive help with the physical care of a loved one, avoid the guilt of placing a loved one in institutional care, and have respite from what can be a “24/7″ responsibility.
The care receiver can also benefit from adult day care. He or she is able to remain at home with family but does not require 24-hour care from the primary caregiver. Adult day care participants also have an opportunity to interact socially with peers, share in stimulating activities, receive physical or speech therapy if needed, and receive assistance with the activities of daily living with dignity.
Adult day services offer an individualized plan of care to meet the needs of each person attending. Participants attend on a scheduled basis and services may include supervision, meals and snacks, group and individual activities, formal exercise, intergenerational programming, health monitoring, caregiver support ,group nursing services, transportation, therapeutic art activities, therapeutic music programs, therapeutic programming with pets, podiatry, hair care, manicures, health care, medication management, shower/bath, medical evaluation, therapeutic dance activities, specialized diets, horticulture therapy, reminiscence therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy.
It may be time to consider choosing an adult day program when someone you know appears unable to provide himself or herself with any structure for daily activities, is isolated from others for more than a few hours a day and misses companionship, cannot be safely left alone at home or lives with someone who works outside the home or needs regular time away from home for other reasons.
Long-Term care insurance can provide the funds to pay for this type of service. It is important to keep in mind that purchasing Long-Term care insurance once an individual is in need of these services is impossible. It is important to put a long-term care plan in place while you are healthy.