Caring for an elderly family member can be very difficult and overwhelming. Not only do you have to attend to that family member’s personal and medical needs, but you need to tend to your own life. How will you be able to work a full-time job if you have to spend most of your time caring for say, your parent? And what if you have children and a spouse? They need you too.
Luckily, family caregivers can find assistance and much-needed respite in the form of adult daycares. Unlike assisted-living facilities or nursing homes in which a patient lives full time, adult daycares operate during the day and offer special services, programs, and activities to keep their members engaged. Some adult day cares also provide medical services like having nurses on staff to administer medications, or a physical therapist to help with exercises.
Adult day cares are beneficial to both family caregivers and their charges for many reasons. This article will explore them in further detail.
Which Adult Day Care is Best for Your Loved One?
There are three types of adult care facilities: social, medical, and specialized. Choose the one that best suits your elderly family member’s needs.
Social adult day cares focus on providing social interaction and activities for senior citizens. They offer some health-related services but are overall more like a community center.
Medical adult day cares are also known as adult day health cares. They’re staffed by nurses and provide more health services, including physical and speech therapy to their clients. However, they still offer social activities for seniors to enjoy.
Specialized adult day cares are for those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s. The facility provides a safe, secure environment in which seniors are unable to wander off and possibly injure themselves.
Benefits of Adult Day Care to the Family Caregiver
It gives the family caregiver a break. Becoming a family caregiver is a highly noble deed that often requires a huge sacrifice. You may have to cut back on work hours. You may have to drive long distances from your home to your family member’s home. You may end up spending less time with your spouse and children. Being a family caregiver is stressful and taxing physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, if you send your loved one to adult daycare during the day, you can take a break from the large responsibility of caring for them. You get the chance to decompress and decrease your stress. You can continue your regular routine, knowing that your family member is well-cared for at adult daycare.
It’s cheaper than a nursing home or in-home care. It’s not surprising that nursing home care is expensive, considering that such facilities provide room and board, in addition to medical, social, and personal care of its patients. According to Senior Living.org , the average daily cost for a private room is $225, while a semi-private room is $253. Assisted living facilities are about half the cost but still expensive, at roughly $119/day. Hiring a home health care aide is also pricey, at about $164 per day. In contrast, the average cost of adult daycare is only $70 a day.
It gives peace of mind. As a family caregiver, you can take comfort that your elderly family member is not sitting home alone all day while you’re at work. Instead, he or she is being cared for by a team of professionals who provide them companionship, socialization, activities, exercise, medical care, and personal care.
Benefits of Adult Day Care to the Elderly Loved One
The elderly person maintains his/her independence. Nothing is more jarring to a person’s self-esteem than suddenly having to completely rely on someone else for help. It can be a very difficult reality to swallow for senior citizens. Some find it insulting and even demeaning. The feeling becomes worse when the person is forced to move out of the comfort of their home and live in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Adult day care allows the elderly loved one to stay home longer. They spend the whole day at the daycare facility but get to sleep at night in their own beds.
Adult day cares heavily promote socializing. It can get very lonely for a senior citizen who stays home all day with their family caregiver as their only source of companionship and conversation. By signing up with an adult day care facility, they can meet new people and make friends.
There are stimulating activities to keep the mind and body busy. On a similar note, a completely housebound elderly person can feel extremely bored, especially during the hours that their family caregiver isn’t there. Adult day cares provide a variety of fun activities to keep their guests engaged. These can include live entertainment, outings, arts and crafts, and exercise classes.
What to Look for in an Adult Day Care
Like any business, not all adult day cares are alike. Some are better than others, and some are more suitable for your family’s needs than others. Use these guidelines when searching for an adult day care.
- What kind of adult day care is needed—social, medical, or specialized?
- How much does it cost daily?
- Is it a properly licensed facility?
- What kind of training or certification does the staff have?
- Does the place look clean and well-kept? Do the members look happy and engaged?
- What’s the staff/member ratio?
- Are meals and snacks included in the price?
- What are the hours of operation? Are there half-day options available? Are these hours convenient for you as the family caregiver?
- What are the activities/programs offered?
- What medical services are provided by the staff?
- What is the food like?
- Is there available transportation to and from the facility? If so, is this an additional cost?
- Pay several visits to the facility.
- While visiting the facility, observe the relationship between the staff and members. How does the staff treat them?
- Can you speak to a few reference families?
- Can you speak to a few staff members?
- Are there online reviews of the facility and staff?
As a family caregiver, it’s not only your job to care for your elderly family member. You need to care for yourself and your immediate family as well. Enrolling your senior family member into an adult day care facility will help preserve your mental, emotional, and even physical state. In return, your elderly family member will be surrounded by friends, keep busy with activities, and keep their minds stimulated and sharp.
If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about adult day cares, please visit the Sunshine Adult Care website for more details. Alternatively, you can call 845-473-6900 and one of our highly trained staff will be happy to answer your questions. You can also schedule a tour at either of our two locations.