Families have turned to Adult Day Centers since at least the 1950s to care for their aging loved ones. It’s perhaps the only elder care service available to combine the flexibility of staying home, receiving excellent health care, and meeting new friends in a highly social setting.
Adult day has become increasingly popular through the years with the number of centers in the United States increasing annually. With the baby boomer population getting older, day care for the elderly is gaining popularity.
And it’s no wonder. Services provided by an elderly care center are a great way to encourage senior socialization.
As seniors age, they tend to sit at home alone all day after. This can lead to depression and loneliness. However, when they get to spend time with others their age, their faces light up with joy.
Depending on their health needs, our beloved seniors often require support and supervision to remain independent whether from physical disabilities or cognitive decline brought about by various forms of dementia.
They get the socialization they need, meals during the day, and help with their physical and health needs. But at the end of the day, they get to go back to where they’re the most comfortable: home.
What to Consider When Searching for the Best Adult Day Services
With so many benefits from the services provided by an adult day care center, we’re sure you’re ready to sign your loved one up right away. But there are some things we think you should consider first.
1. Count the Cost
Adult Day delivers the most value for your senior care budget. For example, for about the cost of 4 hours of home care, you can attend an Adult Day Center for a full day.
Most families will pay for Adult Day, like all long-term care services, privately. Many programs also accept long-term care insurance, Medicaid, and Veterans Administration benefits. Medicare does not pay for long-term care services.
Depending on the state you live in, some services might be covered by a county program. The easiest way to find these services is googling the county name + “senior services.” So if you live in Cobb County Georgia, try searching “Cobb Senior Services”.
There are sometimes some options for respite grants available through your Area Agency on Aging and through disease associations such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
2. What About Transportation?
Some adult day care providers offer transportation to and from the facility. This makes it so much easier for people who have to take kids to school, run errands, and travel to their jobs. Some will take your loved one to medical appointments.
Not all facilities offer these services. Or, if they do, they charge for them.
Double check whether these services are provided. And if there’s a fee, see if it fits into your budget or not.
3. Is the Staff-to-Patient Ratio Acceptable?
We don’t recommend sending loved ones to a facility that is overly crowded. Day care staff members can only be stretched so far before the care they give starts to suffer.
Make sure the facility has plenty of staff members, or they keep the number of seniors to an acceptable level. Most centers are likely to maintain a staff to member ratio between 1:4 and 1:8. It might inch up or down depending on the needs of the members.
It would also be wise to check the staff credentials and to ask if there are any medical professionals on staff in case of an emergency.
4. What Kind of Caregiver Support Is Available?
Many day care facilities also provide support for caregivers. They do this in a number of ways.
Some facilities offer actual support group meetings. This is a great way to vent any frustrations or concerns and to realize that you’re not the only one dealing with this.
If a facility doesn’t provide support groups, we highly recommend asking if they have referral services.
The staff members know other caregivers and can provide recommendations for quality support groups and meetings.
Another way day care facilities help caregivers is by providing extra services, like immunizations, beautician (or barber) services, or nail care services.
While some of these services may cost extra, they can save caregivers a ton of time!
5. What You Need to Know About Meals
Quite a few day care centers provide meals for the seniors in their care. This can save caregivers some time and give them peace of mind their loved one is being thoroughly cared for.
Don’t ever assume meals are included, though. Make sure to ask whether there’s a fee for meals or not.
Day Care for the Elderly Benefits You and Your Loved One
The great thing about adult day services is they not only benefit the elderly, they benefit their caregivers.
These types of services are a great way for caregivers to reduce stress and enjoy some “me time.”
When considering whether or not to take advantage of the services provided by an adult day care center, remember all of the benefits.
Caregivers get time to relax or catch up on their life. Seniors get to socialize with others. And at the end of the day, they still get to go back home.
Adult day care is one of the best ways to ensure elderly loved ones stay independent for as long as possible
With all of these benefits, why wouldn’t you take advantage of these services?
Do you think you and your elderly loved one would benefit from adult daycare services? Contact us to find out more about these services and whether they’re the right fit for you and your family.