An Adult Day Care Center can provide two very valuable benefits with their services:
1) Older Seniors get a chance to get out of the house and have some stimulating supervised fun social time with their peers.
2) Caregivers get a vital break from the physical demands and stress in their very demanding 24 hour care giving day.
A Day Care Center for Adults gives older seniors a chance to be social in
a safe environment and participate in staff supervised activities.
Regularly visiting an Adult Day Care Center has many other Benefits as well. Here’s what help guide .org has to say:
Dropping off a loved one at a Center for a few hours each day gives the family caregiver a most welcome break from the otherwise 24 hour a day service they provide.
In the time the participant is in Day Care, the caregiver may do whatever they please: nap, shop, watch movies, read, a book, go to the gym, etc….
And, that is time they need and something they more than deserve.
Adult Day Care Centers can vary in what they offer. So, it’s important to call first and see if they provide what you are looking for for your own special person.
Most centers offer exercise programs, social activities, and help with basic personal needs such as using the toilet and personal grooming.
They usually provide meals, snacks, and even special diet needs. Door to door transportation may also be available.
Planned social activities try to be tailored to
the participant’s individual abilities and desires. Things such as arts
and crafts, games like Bingo and Jeopardy, activities like sing alongs
and balloon volleyball, discussion groups, gentle exercise groups (even
for those in wheelchairs), birthday parties, and some even offer local
Since this is not assisted living, the centers usually offer their services during normal business hours Monday through Friday. Some offer evening and weekend services also.
The most common services include:
Music or Art Therapy
Counseling and Education
For those in need, simple Personal Care is often a much desired option. Things like bathroom hygiene, personal grooming (which always seems to put a smile on a participant’s face!), feeding, and walking.
Regularly going to an adult day care center, for even a few hours, can remedy the isolation and loneliness many seniors face in their later years.
The studies by the Gerontological Society of America show that older seniors who attend Adult Day Care have a better quality of life. These centers provide psychological benefits for those with cognitive impairments. And, they can have beneficial effects on the well being of the caregiver also.
Chances are also good that you won’t have to worry about transportation if you are in a larger metropolitan area. Many areas have a transportation service available that will pick up attendees and return them home at the end of the day’s activities.
Adult Day Care Centers are for those seniors who are able to continue living at home (also or with a caregiver), but, need some quality and fun social interaction, and perhaps some personal care and assistance during their time out.
A major Benefit is: These centers are much less expensive than hiring live in help or moving to a nursing home.
In so many cases, regularly going to a Day Care Center may be all that is needed to comfortably enable your loved one to keep living in their own home and still have the social connections we all need.
Seniors who have no major physical or mental inabilities can find the socialization, exercise classes, and activities they desire at local community senior centers where there is very little cost. And, the seniors they interact with there will also be more like themselves.
So, who needs these centers?
According to the National Adult Day Services Association, more than half of older seniors who go to these centers have some degree of cognitive impairment.
An Adult Day Care Center is designed for seniors who need some recreation and social time with their peers. Seniors who require a little more, or, a lot more supervision, assistance, and services, but, are not looking to move to a nursing home.
A Nursing Home is not always the answer for older senior needs. Nursing Homes are not only expensive, they are not always necessary for meeting the extra demands of advanced senior life. More important, they are not "Home". Most seniors surveyed said they would like to "Age In Place" (live out their years) in their own home.
The HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that: "Another major benefit of adult day care is potentially delaying the move to a long-term care facility."
Older seniors abilities are highly varied. So, different centers have different services available for different levels of need.
There are three basic types:
1) Social Adult Day Care Center
2) Wellness Programs
3) Specialized Centers
Let’s take a look at each:
Social Centers are primarily for social activities. Meals, games, exercise classes. They are primarily places where seniors can socialize with their peers, have a good time and enjoy life.
Social Centers are ideal for eliminating the feelings of isolation and loneliness that often accompany many seniors in older age.
Daily or even weekly visits to their adult day care center can give a new feeling of liveliness to lonely seniors. Give them a real desire to get up, get dressed and go do something enjoyable.
Leaving the loved one in this safe group situation for even a few hours can also provide the family caregiver with the needed respite that their daily routine requires.
These centers have a little more in the way of caring for the special needs of declining seniors offer more therapeutic services in addition the the social activities you see in the strictly social centers.
To determine how much attention and service they are able to provide you must call and speak with them. You want to be sure they are able to provide the personal care your loved one may need assistance with.
These day care centers are for seniors who will need the more involved services that your loved one may require. These centers are usually for seniors with a specific condition that requires a lot of supervision and trained assistance, such as advanced cognitive decline.
Here is a wonderful short VIDEO for you to see just how lovely a day can become for older seniors who visit Adult Day Care Centers. It’s not like just sitting home alone in front of the TV.
There are so many fun and interesting things for your loved one to do with other seniors.
Here you can learn more about the benefits of regular day care, for both the participant and for the family caregiver from a Day Care center director: Carol Hitch RN, and Dr. Robert Tracy:
We don’t advertise or make any recommendations for specific centers. These videos are simply for you to learn more about what goes on at an Adult Day Care Center.
This can be a very important consideration for many families.
Though Adult Day Care is not free, it is much less expensive than sending your loved one to a Nursing Home. And, it enables your love one to “Age in Place” that means live out their life in their own home.
The cost of Adult Day Care can range from as little as $25 to $100+ per day. Depending on what services you want to access. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the average cost is just under $70 per day. Obviously the more assistance and the more specialized the needs, the more the cost will usually be.
Here is a Monthly comparison chart of an average Adult Day Care Center vs Assisted Living, Homemaker Services, Private Home Care, semi-private Nursing Homes, private (single occupancy in a room) Nursing Home.
Medicaid usually does, however.
Financial assistance may also be possible through other government programs like the VA and some state agencies.
Since regular use of a center will incur a certain financial outlay, who really will benefit from their use?
According to The National Adult Day Services Association, day care may be recommended when:
" - Your loved one is feeling isolated and lonely and they want to spend time with other senior like themselves. This is very common. And, a a few hours in a day care center two or three times a week can bring great joy and a zest for life back.
- Your loved one is experiencing loneliness and/or depression due to lack of social connection.
- Your loved one is experiencing anxiety about being too alone. Or, you feel they are not safe alone.
- Your family member is no longer able to structure his/her own daily schedule.
- He or she is no longer able to focus on an activity of any nature. Even something as simple as watching TV, or, having a conversation.
- You, the caregiver, are experiencing frustration, anxiety, or any wellness issues due to the stress of giving constant supervision to your loved one. A few regular hours for your loved one in an Adult Day Care Center may give you, the caregiver, the needed respite you desire as well as brighten your loved ones day.
- You need to get away from home for work or other personal engagements."
According to the National Adult Day Services Association, there are more than 7,500 Adult Day Services centers across the United States.
Obviously you want to find one that is set up to handle the specific needs of your specific family member in the best possible way.
You want to have your loved one(s) taken care of properly, and, also enable them to be with others who are of the same caliber so that they can enjoy their activities properly.
Here are three excellent sources for locating the type of center you need that is near to you:
1) Eldercare Locator
You can also contact them at: 1-800-677-1116
2) National Adult Day Services Association
Once you have found a center, or centers, that seem to be right for you, it’s time to take an actual visit to the center(s), have a look around the facilities, and ask some question:
- Do you offer physical and occupational therapy? Speech therapy?
- Do you provide individually created plans for each attendee? How often are they updated?
- Is the furniture comfortable?
- Is it wheelchair accessible?
- Is there a quiet area attendees can go to if they feel they need a break from anything?
- Are the restrooms convenient, easily accessible, set up for wheelchairs?
Pay attention to the vibe and interaction of the staff. This can give you a better idea of how comfortable the center may be in general.
At first, your loved one may be nervous about going to an adult day care center. After all, it is an entire unfamiliar new Universe.
It would be a good idea to accompany your loved one on the first few visits and see how they like it before you enroll in any long term programs. Have just lunch there to start. Then add more things in the next few visits.
It often takes a few weeks before participants get used to the new adventure. And, before they make any new friends who they start to look forward to seeing again.
If after a few weeks the center doesn’t seem to be working out for your loved one, take them out. Wait a bit and try again later on. Or, after a break, try a different center.
But, usually, after a few weeks, if the center you chose is a good match for your loved one, your family member will begin to look forward to his/her visits and her new friends and the activities they share there.
When deciding how best to take care of your very senior loved one(s), an Adult Day Care Center may be just what your loved one needs.
The Major Benefits Include:
1) An Adult Day Care Center can provide the needed socialization for many older seniors who would otherwise be home bound.
2) These centers not only provide wonderful and fun activities, they can usually take care of all the personal individual needs of the participant.
3) Using these facilities also gives the family caregiver a most welcome and needed respite in their otherwise demanding 24 hour a day job.
4) The cost of An Adult Day Care Center is a fraction of the cost of moving your loved one to a nursing home. And, your loved one gets to remain in their own home.
We hope this article will help enrich the lives of your senior loved one(s) and add Joy to yours also. ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte
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