You want your aging parents to enjoy a rich, active life, even as certain elements of their general health and independence decline. No matter how much you want to be involved in helping seniors that you care about, you may not have enough time to juggle your own responsibilities and also give your parent or grandparent the regular attention that they need. Adult day care centers can offer a solution to this conundrum by supporting seniors, keeping them active, occupied, and full of self-esteem - all while keeping their health and safety top of mind.
Adult day care centers are designed to meet the needs of older adults who have difficulty managing on their own, receive some assistance at home from a caregiver (family member or friend), or are lonely or socially isolated. The centers operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, offering elderly adults the opportunity to be social in a safe, supportive environment. These centers also give at-home caregivers a much-needed break.
Types of Adult Day Care
There are generally three types of adult care centers, with services varying according to the specific needs of members:
- Socially-geared adult day centers offer meals, recreation, and some health care services. These centers have access to medical facilities that are staffed with registered nurses and other health professionals, who administer physical examinations and medical care for patients with chronic illnesses.
- Some centers are mainly focused on medical and health issues, offering physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
- The third type of center provides specialized support, care, and counseling for people with developmental disabilities, dementia, or Alzheimer's disease.
Available Programs and Services
Although each adult day care center may differ in terms of features, these common services are available at most facilities:
- Social activities: Daily planned activities are included, such as music, art, discussion, and support groups.
- Transportation: Door-to-door service is usually available.
- Nutritious meals and snacks: Special meals are offered to those with specific dietary needs.
- Personal care: Centers will help with grooming, eating, toileting, and other care tasks.
- Therapeutic activities: Exercise, memory training, and mental-stimulation games (such as bingo) are offered.
Adult day care fills a crucial gap in senior care. According to the National Adult Day Services Association, more than 260,000 older adults and caregivers are serviced through more than 4,600 day care programs across the United States. Candidates for these programs are seniors who live with someone who works outside the home or who is frequently away from home, require supervised care during the day in a safe, secure environment, or can benefit from a structured program of socialization and activities in a community, group-based setting.
If you're the primary caregiver for an aging loved one or if you want to ensure that your loved ones have the social interaction they want and need, consider adult day care. You'll get the respite you need and you can feel assured that your loved ones are in good hands.