Making the choice to engage in assisted living is tough. The wrong assistance can easily strip independence away and belittle seniors. Adult Day Care Centers are a great compromise between aging at home and assisted living. Designed to delay/prevent institutionalism, they also provide relief for caregivers and family members. It is win-win for both parties!

Working caregivers often times find themselves in a dilemma. Between supporting their senior family members and taking care of themselves, it is easy to burn out. The ability to drop loved ones off in a safe environment that promotes healthy aging, learning and socialization puts both you and your senior at ease. The centers are an optimal choice for patients who:

  • Maybe challenged physically or cognitively, but do not require 24-hour supervision
  • Are mobile or only require light assistance from canes, walkers, or wheelchairs
  • Are continent
  • Maybe in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease

The National Adult Day Care Association (NADCA) states that there are currently more than 4600 adult day care facilities in the United States alone. Choosing the right center can quickly become overwhelming. Being placed in the wrong environment is detrimental to a senior's graceful aging and can lead to health complications, mistrust between the patient and facilities staff, and tension between family members. Listed below is a five-step process to aid you and your loved one in locating the best care option near you.

Research

There are countless options for senior care; so many that at times it may feel overwhelming. Searching for specific care options can cut down research time drastically. Keep in mind that there are different types of adult day care centers: social, health, and Alzheimer's/dementia-oriented. To get started with selecting potential venues, all you have to do is:

  • Locate the adult day care centers in your area
  • Determine what type of center will best suit your senior's needs:

-Adult day health centers or Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy. They are usually staffed with an RN and other health professionals to monitor patients and provide immediate medical attention.

-Social adult day cares focus on providing social activities, meals, recreation, and some health-related services.

- Centers for Alzheimer's/dementia specialize in memory activities and assistance.

  • Check to see which facilities provide particular services that are unique to your loved one's needs.

Communicate

Once you feel you have found a few promising centers, share those options with your loved one. Your senior will most likely have valuable input as to desires and partialities.

Visit

Take an adult field trip! Visiting the day care is the best way to tell if the center is the right fit. Different facilities have different environments, and finding the right environment for your senior will help him or her thrive. Some questions you should ask each day care center provider are:

  • Who is the owner?
  • How long has it been in service?
  • Is it licensed or certified?
  • What are the hours?
  • Is transportation provided?
  • Is the staff credentialed?
  • What is the ratio of staff members to participants? (It should be between 1:6 and 1:4)
  • Is it a social, health, or dementia/Alzheimer's focused center?
  • What activities are offered?
  • Are participants fed throughout the day?
  • What are the financial costs?

Evaluate

Now it is time to sit down and choose. Communication is key when deciding on a part-time care facility. Good indicators are feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, and anticipation. You will know when both of you are confident in the final choice.

Start

Once you have come to a final decision, contact the senior day center of choice. They will assist you from there on!

"Adult Day Care." Adult Day Care. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

"Adult Day Care Services": Finding the Best Center for Your Needs. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

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