Generally, an adult day care is a safe place for elderly loved ones to spend the day socializing, doing activities and receiving the care they need. Most older adults using this service are unable to safely care for themselves and need some sort of assistance. According to studies roughly 50% of elderly individuals in adult day cares have some form of cognitive impairment. Adult day cares give those caregivers that normally care for the individual the opportunity to run errands, go to work during the day or take a respite. There are currently over 4,000 adult day cares (also knows as adult day centers) in the United States. That number will likely continue to rise over the years as more elderly and their adult children are seeking out alternatives to living full-time in a facility. Adult Day cares give family members the option of having their loved one live with them and still have the opportunity to work during the day.
The focus of day centers vary from facility to facility. Some focus on social interaction and activities while others are dedicated to Alzheimer’s care or others with special needs. Adult day care regulations also vary from state to state, however, most centers are staffed with certified nurse aides (CNA’s), an activity director and other trained professionals. Several adult day care’s also rely on volunteers to assist with activities and special projects. Because each center is run differently, it is important to inquire about staffing before registering to give you peace of mind that your loved one will be safely cared for by friendly and qualified staff.
Adult children often feel hesitant to bring their elderly parent to a day center out of fear or guilt. It may be difficult for primary caregivers to trust that their loved one will not only have excellent care but will also feel happy going. While these are valid concerns, there can be many advantages to these types of adult programs. Listed below are some of the benefits as well as services that are generally offered:
- Respite for family caregivers
- Respite for elderly from caregiver
- Meaningful activities
- Friendships, bonding experiences
- Nutritional meals, snacks
- Medical care, medication management
- Assistance with Activities of daily living (ADL’s)
- Therapy services
- Exercise programs
- Transportation to and from home
- Games and entertainment
- Visits from pet therapy programs
- Holiday parties
- Special outings
- Music therapy
- Intergenerational contact
- Alternate stimulation from what is normally received
- Expression through art and crafting
- Relaxation in a comfortable environment
If you are a caregiver in need of respite or looking for extra stimulation for your loved one, check to see if there is an adult day care near you. Leave a comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts on adult day cares!