For many people, an adult day care is an unfamiliar concept. Most people equate day care services with children and never knew that there were, in fact, day care services for older individuals and seniors, as well.
Aging can be a difficult process for both the senior individual and his or her family, though, and adult day care services often close the gap between independent living and enrollment in a 24-hour care facility. By offering seniors a place to enjoy fun activities and qualified medical support during the working hours, adult day care facilities can relieve family caregivers and help a senior maintain independence and dignity during the aging process.
If you’re considering enrolling your loved one in an adult day care service but aren’t sure if he or she is a good fit for the program, consider the following facts about adult day care:
1. 35% of seniors enrolled in adult day care facilities live with one of their adult children.2. 2/3 of all adults enrolled in day care are women.3. On average, the age of a senior enrolled in adult day care is 72.4. 52% of people utilizing adult day care services in America have some form of mild to severe mental impairment, such as dementia or memory loss.
What is Adult Day Care?
Many people have questions about adult day care- what it is and how it works, for example. Typically, adult day care is a service offered by an independent facility or through a nursing home or assisted living facility. These programs are staffed by certified nurses, therapists and healthcare aides and offer supervision, transportation, meal services, and activities to seniors with and without mental impairment.
While adult day care offers important care and activity services to seniors suffering from dementia and other cognitive issues, these programs can also provide an important physical, mental and emotional outlet for seniors without dementia who are simply struggling with feelings of isolation or the loss of social relationships.
Who is a Good Fit for Adult Day Care?
While adult day care is a fantastic way to ensure great care and alleviate the burden family caregivers may feel, it’s not right for everyone. If your loved one fits into any of the following categories, however, it’s likely that he or she is a good fit for an adult day care program:
1) People Who Feel Isolated
As people age, many become housebound and lose the ability to build and maintain social relationships the way that they used to. Over time, this can lead to new or worsening depressive symptoms and a whole host of other health problems. Isolation is a dangerous feeling and seniors who feel isolated may benefit from an adult day care center, which will provide important socialization opportunities and plenty of activities to keep both the mind and body strong.
2) Seniors with depressive symptoms
If your loved one is displaying depressive symptoms, it may be wise to consider an adult day care facility. It is very common for seniors to feel depressed as a result of failing health, deceased spouses, or diminished social abilities and an adult day care facility can help mitigate all of those symptoms. Daily activities, the introduction of a schedule and the building of new friendships can help seniors feel happier and more engaged.
3) Seniors who need help taking medications, bathing, or eating and preparing meals
A good adult day care facility is staffed with fully trained, certified nurses and in-home care aides. These people are trained in medical caregiving like prescription administration and hygienic practices and can help your loved one remember to take pills, cook and consume meals and do routine things like get dressed and bathe. If your loved one requires extra help with these tasks, enrolling him or her in an adult day care facility can help maintain independence and dignity while also boosting mood and ensuring proper care is received.
4) Seniors with dementia
Dementia is a troubling condition and seniors who are affected by Alzheimer’s or similar medical conditions are often unfit to be left alone. Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to find a friend or family member is who capable of staying with the senior at all times. This is made more difficult by the fact that, in many cases, the senior is not yet a good candidate for a 24-hour nursing home, which leaves family and loved ones with few options.
This is where an adult day care comes in. By providing important day care supervision and activities, an adult day care facility can relieve family caregivers, provide space for self-care and work and allow family and loved ones to relax knowing that their beloved senior is in good hands.
5) Seniors whose families cannot keep up with their care
It is a huge obligation to care for an ailing loved one and, often, it comes at the expense of a family caregiver’s career, social life, and family obligations. While caring for an aging or ill family member is certainly an important task, it can quickly become a full-time job places the fabric of the family caregiver’s life at risk and creates an environment in which caregivers become burnt-out. When a family caregiver can no longer maintain his or her own obligations due to the demands of caring for a senior family member, it creates an environment that isn’t good for anybody.
Fortunately, enrolling the senior in an adult day care facility is often enough to mitigate this stress. Since adult day care facilities are designed to operate during working hours, enrolling a senior in an adult day care program during the day can allow family caregivers to keep their jobs and tend to their families and individual self-care needs, all while being home with their loved one in the evenings.
Enrolling Your Loved One in an Adult Day Care Facility
If you believe that your loved one is an ideal candidate for an adult day care facility, it’s wise to begin looking around to find a program that fits your needs and interests. One of the best resources for this is adultdaycare.org, which allows users to search for adult day care facilities by zip code.
While choosing to enroll a loved one in adult day care is often a difficult decision, it’s important to keep in mind that adult day care serves the incredibly important purpose of allowing seniors to maintain their independence while also allowing them to receive the care they need in a comfortable, engaging, and personalized setting.
This, in turn, can allow family caregivers to take a break from the 24/7 obligation of providing care to their loved one and can contribute to a happier, healthier, and less stressful life for all parties. Additionally, many seniors who may be reticent about adult day care at first come to love the program and find that they make wonderful friends and genuinely enjoy the activities offered by the day care facility.
If you want to learn more about what adult day care can offer you and your family, visit Sunshine Adult Day Care today!