If you are a family caregiver to an elderly loved one, it can be very stressful and exhausting at times. You love your relative and are willing to do anything for him or her, but you are only human and have limitations. Perhaps your job is suffering, or you’re starting to neglect your own family. It may also be that the workload is physically or mentally too much.
You might consider then, an outside source of help. There are many options available, but you don’t necessarily need to take drastic steps such as a nursing home. If your elderly loved one doesn’t require extensive medical attention, he or she may do well in attending an adult day care center.
What is an Adult Day Care Center?
When we hear the term “day care”, we usually think of facilities in which parents drop off their small children for the day while they go to work. Indeed, adult day care centers are similar in that they offer their services only during day time hours. However, the similarities end there. Adult day care centers provide medical and personal assistance to senior citizens who cannot care for themselves. They also offer activities, excursions, and other programs to promote socialization among its members.
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 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.
Adult Day Care Center vs. Other Forms of Senior CareAlthough there are many options for senior care, adult day care centers are arguably the least intrusive and one of the least expensive. Ultimately of course, the choice depends on your elderly loved one’s needs, and yours. The two key attributes of adult day care centers are socialization and independence. Many senior care options offer one or the other, but not always both.
Socialization: When an elderly person stays home all day with very little activity and stimulation, he or she can become very bored and lonely. This can occur in spite of the presence of family caregivers or hired caregivers. Furthermore, housebound seniors with failing health are sometimes depressed, and feelings of isolation may increase their depression. Leaving the house for several hours a day and being around other people can improve an elderly person’s mood and even helps take their minds off their illnesses for a short time. Furthermore, participating in social programs such as trivia, music, and art can keep their minds engaged and active.
Independence: A major concern for many seniors with declining health is inevitably relying on other people to help them do routine tasks such as bathing, getting dressed, eating, or driving. Moving to a nursing home unsurprisingly increases this loss of independence, as he or she has to live with strangers in an unfamiliar environment and endure rigid schedules. However, with an adult day care center, the elderly person only spends a few hours (or the whole day) at the facility but gets to return to their own home.Who is a Good Candidate for an Adult Day Care Center? Just about any senior person will benefit from an adult day care center. This includes:
- Elderly people who feel lonely and isolated at home.
- Elderly people who need minor medical and personal care during the day.
- Elderly people with family caregivers who need extra help
Get Advice from Your NetworkTalk to your friends, relatives, and even co-workers and ask for recommendations. Your elderly loved one’s doctor, physical therapist, or other medical experts may also offer advice.
Initial Factors to Consider During Your Research
- What is your budget?
- Will you need financial assistance?
- What kinds of assistance and/or medical care does your loved one need?
- Are you looking for a facility closer to your loved one’s home or your home? Perhaps on the way to work?
- Will you need a place that provides transportation to and from your loved one’s home?
- What hours and days will you need the service?
- What are the social activities like?
- What’s the staff/member ratio?
- Are there additional costs for transportation, food, social activities, and excursions?
- Inquire about the staff’s training/credentials.
- Are there days in which they aren’t open or have shorter hours (e.g. holidays)?
- Do you have references I can speak to?
- Does the facility look clean and well-maintained?
- Do the members look engaged in activities?
- Is the staff friendly, professional, and respectful?
- What is the food like? Is it possible to taste?
- Try to visit the potential facilities a second time, at a different time of day. The staff during the morning shift may act differently from the afternoon shift.
Ask the potential adult day care center if your loved one can do a trial session of a few hours or even a couple of days. This allows your elderly loved one can grow accustomed to spending time at an adult day care center. At the same time, the staff can evaluate your elderly person’s needs so they can formulate a suitable care plan.
Searching for the right adult day care center takes time and effort. You may become overwhelmed with information. But once you’ve found the right place for your elderly loved one, that time spent researching will be worth it for not only your loved one, but for you as well.
If you’d like to know more about how adult day care centers can help you and your elderly loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Sunshine. You can call us at 845-473-6900, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to answer your questions or schedule a tour of our facilities.