Types of Adult Day Care
As we continue to get older and live longer, more of us will find that in our senior years, we may need assistance, or be lonely. For older adults who no longer can look after themselves independently, or feel secluded, adult day care is a great option. These adult day care programs allow seniors to be social with others and still receive the assistance or care they need, and they allow caregivers to have a break from caring for their senior.
There are over 5,600 adult day care programs in the United States, filling the needs of some 260,000 seniors and their caregivers. Many adult day care facilities are affiliated with other organizations like home care agencies, skilled nursing facilities, medical centers, and other senior providers.
Adult day cares can be public, private, or not for profit and are regulated at the state level. Staffs in these centers generally consist of a center director, activity staff, social workers, nurses, administrative staff, and for some larger centers, drivers. Many adult day care centers rely on volunteers to run activities.
Types of Adult Day Care
There are three main types of Adult Day Care centers:
- Social - Social adult day care centers provide interaction for seniors and nutritious meals for seniors. There are also some health-related services that are offered at these types of centers.
- Medical - Medical care facilities have social activities as well as more intensive health and therapeutic services. They are staffed by nurses and will provide medication management, health monitoring, physical therapy, disease management and more.
- Specialized - Some adult day care centers specialize in providing all aspects of care for seniors with a specific condition like Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Why Choose Adult Day Care?
There are many reasons why you or your senior loved one should consider adult care services. Caregivers are able to get a break from their caregiving duties without feeling guilty and can avoid caregiver burnout. Their elder will still be taken care of with proper standards of care. This allows them to be able to work another job outside of the home or get some help with the physical care of their elders.
Adult day care also is beneficial for seniors. The day-to-day services, healthcare, and activities enhance the overall quality of life for seniors. Not every senior or their families can afford assisted living or needs that level of care, so adult day care centers allow seniors that need care 24/7 to be able to remain in their homes and communities, close to family and friends. Beyond social interaction, adult day care centers provide greater structure to their activities.
Services Offered at Adult Day Care
A quality adult day care center will offer many activities and services that will improve the overall quality of life of participants. Here are some services that you may find at your local adult daily care facilities:
- Assistance with activities of daily living, including eating, taking medications, using the bathroom, and walking
- Health monitoring
- Counseling services
- Educational programs
- Meal preparation
- Therapeutic services (including physical, speech, art, pet, and music)
- Transportation services
Beyond care services, adult day care centers should provide numerous social activities for seniors. Some of these activities include:
- Arts and crafts
- Field trips
- Holiday parties
- Discussion groups
- Musical entertainment
Adult Day Care Transportation
Transportation is a vital part of the adult day care system. With an increasing number of adults utilizing adult day care services, and increases in costs of fuel, maintenance, and insurance, it can be hard for seniors to have access to reliable transportation. There are a number of different modes of transportation that seniors can utilize depending on what is available in their community.
Volunteer Driver Programs
Volunteer driver programs are available in most areas. Many churches and nonprofit organizations have a network of driver volunteers that will transport seniors around the community. These programs may be free, on a membership basis, or have a low cost.
Paratransit services use vans or small buses to provide door-to-door transportation services. They will pick up passengers at their homes and drop them off at their destination. These services typically require a reservation and offer lower rates to older adults and persons with disabilities.
Door-through-door transportation services are perfect for seniors with mental or physical disabilities. Drivers will physically help passengers in and out of the vehicle and help them through the doors to their home or their destination, if necessary.
Public transportation is a choice in many communities, but might not be the most reliable or accessible, especially for a senior that has mental or physical disabilities. Also, depending on the route, it may be difficult for a senior to get to their destination. However, public transportation does generally provide lowered rates for seniors and persons with disabilities.
For more information about all the transportation options available in your community, talk to your local aging agency.