For families looking at adult daycares, the questions are often abundant. Choosing an adult daycare can be a confusing experience and it’s easy to get bogged down in all of the options. Fortunately, this article is here to help you simplify the options and make choosing an adult daycare facility easy.
Read on to learn more.
What is an Adult Daycare?
Adult daycare is a daytime care facility that offers physical and occupational therapy services in a fun and interactive setting. Most adult daycares also offer meals during the hours the client spends within the facility and plenty of fun social activities like music, dance and crafts. Many adult daycares also offer transportation (pick-up and drop-off) and supportive care for actions like bathing, using the bathroom, eating, and personal hygiene. By definition, adult daycares are staffed by health care professionals like nurses, therapists and home care aides.
Who Uses Adult Daycares?
Adult daycares are designed for older individuals who need round-the-clock care. Unfortunately, it is often difficult for families to provide individuals with this type of care. Family members need to work and care for children and other family members and, as such, it’s often difficult to find someone to accompany the affected person during daily working hours.
While some people choose to hire a full-time in-home care attendant, others choose to enroll their loved one in an adult daycare facility, which offers all of the benefits of focused, personalized care with the added perks of social time, recreational activities, and important physical and mental exercises that can help the aging individual remain sharp and alert.
Choosing a Daycare Facility
Once you’ve chosen to enroll your loved one in a daycare facility, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a program. Although many families aren’t familiar with adult daycare facilities, there are hundreds of them around the country and, even if there isn’t a designated daycare facility in your area, daycare services are often offered by assisted-living families, nursing homes or senior centers.
4 Questions to Ask When Researching Adult Daycare Facilities
When you’re in the early stages of evaluating adult daycare facilities online and over the phone, consider the following 4 questions:
1. How long has the program been running?
Although time in business isn’t always a certificate of functionality and high standards, a daycare facility that has been open for years will have far more user reviews than one that is brand-new. This allows you the chance to talk to previous clients and other families who have used the program and get a feel for their experiences. Additionally, a long-running program probably has trained staff, ample funding, established programs and a sense of stability that a new center may not.
2. Who owns the center?
Some centers are owned by individuals while others are owned by a larger company. If the center you like is owned by an individual, is there a chance that you can meet him or her? Since adult daycare is an intimate and important service, it’s pivotal to know who owns the center and to be able to contact them should the need arise.
3. What hours does the center operate?
It’s important to choose an adult daycare center that is open during the hours you work or have other obligations. Commonly, daycare centers plan their hours to accommodate a regular working schedule, which means they ma be open from 7-6, for example. Some facilities offer pick-up and drop-off services for added convenience.
4. What is the cost of the daycare facility?
Adult daycare is expensive and it’s important to know exactly what the cost obligation is before you commit. Some programs may work with state and local agencies to offer scholarships; payment plans or reduced rates for families with financial need. In other cases, insurance may cover the cost of adult daycare for your loved one.
6 Things to Consider When Visiting Adult Daycares
Once you’ve evaluated the center of your choice over the phone or online, it’s important to visit the center in person and consider the following 6 questions:
1. Is the staff friendly?
Adult daycare staff should be friendly, outgoing, competent and patient. Since your loved one will be spending a great deal of time at the center, it’s important that he or she feels comfortable in the presence of the staff.
2. Is the center clean?
When it comes to adult daycare, there is nothing more important than cleanliness. The center should look and smell clean at all times. Rooms, recreational facilities, meals and shared areas should all be spotless and sanitary and any messes should be cleaned up immediately. Additionally, the daycare center’s clients should look clean, and well cared-for.
3. What are the center’s credentials?
Daycare centers are required to abide by the laws of their given state and, before you choose a center, you should know about their credentials and licensing. To find out more about the licensing and credentials for a given care facility, visit gov.
4. What is the staff-client ratio?
Just like daycare for children, adult daycare is required to have an ample staff-to-client ratio. This helps ensure that every client gets personalized attention and that staff members are not stretching themselves too thin caring for the center’s clients. For maximum comfort for your loved one, the center should have no more than six clients per staff member. This helps ensure optimal care and guarantees that your loved one will always have his or her needs met.
5. How many activities does the center offer?
Each center varies depending upon what it will offer but, for maximum satisfaction, seek out a center that offers actives your loved one will genuinely enjoy. For example, Sunshine Adult Daycare offers monthly day trips and other fun activities like card games, art and music classes, computer lessons and physical activities like yoga, Zumba, and tai chi designed to keep the mind and body strong and active. The center even offers a barber and beauty salon dedicated to making clients feel beautiful and cared-for, which can go a long way toward improving overall mental health and alleviating depressive symptoms that may stem from excessive isolation or loss of other capabilities.
6. Is the center cozy and comfortable?
An adult daycare shouldn’t feel like a prison! In order for your loved one to be comfortable, the center should offer a welcoming environment that is fully equipped for the needs of its clients. This means that, in addition to being clean, it should be fully wheelchair accessible, cozy and comfortable.
While adult daycare is a foreign topic for many families, choosing the right one can make a world of difference both in a family caregiver’s levels of obligation and in the overall happiness and well-being of the person attending the daycare facility. It’s difficult to provide round-the-clock care for an affected family member and a daycare center can provide the important service of sharing some of that burden and allowing family members and other caregivers to reclaim some personal time and rest assured knowing that their loved one is in good hands.
Additionally, an adult daycare facility can provide important opportunities for socialization, activities, physical exercise and new experiences that can help keep your beloved senior happy, engaged, and healthy on a daily basis.