Designed to provide community-based care programs, adult day social care and day health care facilities are more than senior centers or respite care. Traditional senior centers are for older people who are healthy enough to manage their own participation. Respite care focuses solely on providing a break from the demands of daily caregiving.
Adult day social and health care centers provide for your loved one’s need for enrichment, socialization, and health care in a supportive environment. Their services emphasize activities, staff, and equipment designed to meet the level of care each individual needs.
Although aging, your parent may still be alert and cognitively aware, but she may lack the stimulation that comes with outside interaction. In fact, she may have become overly dependent on you, as her caregiver, to stave off loneliness or a sense of isolation. The opportunity to spend a few days a week with other seniors can lead to new friendships, renewed interest in hobbies, and a refreshed sense of purpose in living.
Adult day social care offers some health-related and personal services but focuses primarily on social inclusion and recreation. Adult day social care facilities allow seniors to be part of a community, participate in activities, and receive supportive services beyond those offered at many long-term residential care facilities.
Social adult day care has organized and extensive programs for adults who need only a little help with tasks. Typically, their activities are centered around daytime hours in the week. During that time, you, as a caregiver, can attend to other tasks or go to work. Your loved one receives individualized help in a protective setting for all or part of the day. Whether your senior goes daily or a few days a week depends entirely on what works for your family situation.
The time your parent or other family member spends in social daycare revolves around various things to do that will engage her interest and participation. Such facilities often publish a schedule of activities for the coming week or month so that she can choose what interests her. Examples include:
Also, these facilities often offer meal service and snacks in a group setting that enhance the shared pleasure of one another’s company. Some programs also provide transportation to and from the center, counseling services, caregiver support groups, and health support services such as monitoring blood pressure or vision screening.
These kinds of facilities offer more comprehensive medical and therapeutic services. Registered nurses and other health professionals, such as certified or licensed nursing aides, provide the medical care needed by seniors with chronic conditions or ongoing medical requirements.
Seniors who have experienced strokes, who have diabetes, or who can’t take care of their medical needs can receive the medical and personal care assistance they need. Physical, occupational, or speech therapies are often a feature of daily programs.
These facilities describe themselves as adult day health care because of the medical services and physical, occupational, and speech therapies they provide to seniors. Staff at an adult day health care facility includes RNs and other health professionals. Before your loved one is admitted to a day health care program, she’ll probably need to complete a doctor’s health assessment.
These health care centers give your loved an opportunity to break out of the isolation caused by her medical condition and to meet and mingle with new people, as well as to participate in engaging activities. An adult day health care facility offers her the chance to enjoy her life in a comfortable and medically supervised setting.
If your loved one receives Medicare and Medicaid benefits, she could be eligible for your local Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The program is for people 55 and older who have been state-certified as needing care at the nursing home level. They also must be able to live in the community safely at enrollment. Although they must be state-certified, 93% of the enrollees live in the community but receive daily care at an adult day health care center. The only other condition is that there must be a PACE facility in your area.
Delivering all needed medical and supportive services for seniors, PACE allows them to remain independent and stay at home as long as possible.
PACE is an optional Medicare and Medicaid benefit that delivers all necessary medical and supportive services. Services can also be provided in your loved one’s home or in an inpatient facility. Because of the PACE program, most recipients can continue to live at home instead of a long-term care facility.
PACE relieves a caregiver and reduces emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and readmissions, and decreases nursing home admissions.
Your loved one’s time spent in an adult daycare facility, whether an adult day social care program or health care program is a winning solution for you both. She’ll have the medical and personal support they offer and a better quality of life while enjoying new people and experiences.