Are you one of the estimated 53.0 million adults in the United States providing care for a loved one? AARP reports that 26% of all caregivers are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and the numbers are increasing.
It is also estimated that up to 23% more Americans, compared to past years, report that caregiving has made their own health worse.
You might feel that taking care of yourself first as a caregiver is selfish. The truth is, when you deny your own self-care, you may rob your loved one of a healthy loving caregiver (you). We cannot say this enough, Caregiver, Take Care of You First.
“Sometimes asking for help is the most meaningful example of self-reliance.” — Cory Booker
Do Adult Day Care Centers Accept Dementia Patients?
An adult day care center can be a great option for respite care. It can bestow you with a much-needed break from caregiving, but also will provide your loved one with a way to get out and socialize with other seniors. This diversion can help relieve stress and boredom and may prevent loneliness in the one you care for.
Many adult day care centers do accept dementia patients. Senior centers that typically are sponsored by recreational departments are geared towards activities for healthy older adults, but adult day care centers are a resource for people with physical needs or limited functioning due to memory loss.
Adult day care is especially helpful for patients in the earlier stages of dementia. Studies journaled in the National Library of Medicine concluded that:
“Adult day services attendance has been found to positively impact physical and psychological functioning by reducing feelings of social isolation, anxiety and depression with attendees with early-stage dementia reporting that participation in a social group had a positive impact on them.”
Not only does adult day service assist with relieving stress for the caregiver, but it can also help delay the need for 24-hour care for your loved one.
Services and Amenities Provided in an Adult Day Care Center
Adult day care centers typically operate during normal business hours five days a week. Some programs may be offered in the evenings and on weekends.
The services and amenities provided by individual day care centers will vary, but most offer:
- Social activities – interaction with other attendees with planned and appropriate activities
- Transportation – between home and the center
- Nutrition – meals and snacks, and meals tailored for those with special dietary needs
- Personal care – assistance with toileting, grooming, eating, and other personal care tasks
- Physical activity – appropriate and therapeutic exercise
Some adult day care centers provide medical and health care, as well as more intensive therapeutic services, and some centers offer counseling services for dementia patients and their families.
Costs and Ways to Pay for Adult Day Care at a Center
The cost for adult day care varies just as much as the services and amenities provided. The national average is $68.00 per day for an adult day care center that provides health services.
You may be wondering how to pay for these costs.
Know that some adult day care centers offer services on a sliding scale that allows caregivers to pay based on ability or income.
If your loved one does not require specialized care, check with local churches for day care programs offered at no cost for several hours a day.
If your loved one is a veteran, they may be entitled to free services at a VA-run adult day care center.
Medicare and Medicaid may also be a way to pay for adult day care. Visit LongTermCare.gov to learn more about these options, as well as coverage by health insurance and private payment options.
Selecting an Adult Day Care Center
We understand that your priority is exceptional care for your loved one and that you want your loved one to benefit from the care that they receive.
Here are important points to consider when selecting an adult day care center:
- How long has the adult day care center been in operation?
- What are the days and hours of operation? Is there a minimum number of days per week, or hours per day?
- Is transportation to and from the adult day care center provided?
- Which conditions are accepted (e.g., memory loss, limited mobility, incontinence)?
- What are the staff’s credentials, and what is the ratio of staff to participants?
- What activities are offered?
- Are meals and snacks included? Are special diets provided?
- Is there always a manager or supervisor on staff?
- What special training does the staff receive to work with special needs such as dementia?
- What are the requirements for admission to the care program?
- How much does attendance at the adult day care center cost?
- Do I have to pay for attendance or is some of it covered elsewhere?
- Is the adult day care center licensed or otherwise accredited? (Per the Department of Health and Human Services, some states in the US require licensure, some require certification, and some require both.)
Is an Adult Day Care Center Appropriate for My Loved One with Dementia?
Sometimes, after sending your loved one to the very best day care center, they may say to you, “It’s horrible!” Please do not fret over this. It does not mean that adult day care is not an appropriate option.
Encourage your loved one to continue attending, but also meet with the staff – who should provide counseling and tips that can help your loved one adjust.
You may also consider trying different programs or centers.
We Are Here to Help
We know that you want the best care for your loved one. Memory care is all we do…and we are really good at it.
If you or your loved one lives in the Round Rock or North Austin, Texas area, we would love to help you with your questions! Contact us online or schedule a virtual tour online or call us at 512-399-5080.