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Adult Day Care Fills An Important Void In Senior Living Options

Adult day can care be a very cost effective option to both senior housing placement and non-medical home care. It is an excellent alternative for the working children of seniors who aren’t ready to have the senior move to a long term care community.

Adult Day Care provides structured activities to seniors who have physical and cognitive impairments. But, each program is designed differently with regard to hours of operation, and if a medical or social model is offered. The medical model helps the senior remain as independent as possible while providing care to assist the person with their activities of daily living such as eating, toileting, taking medication, bathing (at some sites), dressing (if need be), and walking. The medical model is usually overseen by a nurse. The social model may be an option for people who are able to live alone with some help but may need socialization during the day. The social model doesn’t provide the “hands on” assistance provided in the medical model. The seniors really need to be more independent and toilet on their own. Adult Day Care may postpone a senior from being placed in a long term care community.

Adult Day Care Centers will usually have a nurse or social worker evaluate the senior before they enter a program to see if his/her needs can be met. Some seniors need more assistance than is provided. Therefore, the medical model is more appropriate for him/her.

The centers are normally open during daytime hours and may provide extended hours for an additional fee: A meal, snacks, socialization, activities, exercise, and trips are normally included. Some also provide transportation to and from the person’s home. Some programs are set up to have clients attend on a regularly scheduled basis. Others will allow the participant to attend on an hourly basis.

Many of the programs are private pay. But some have arrangements with government agencies to provide programming for those who qualify at a lower cost. These include the CCP (Community Care Program) for people who are age 60 and over, OARS (Office of Rehabilitation Service) for people who are age 18-59, and Veterans Administration for Veterans.

As a Certified Care Manager, I was recently hired by a client to analyze some Adult Day Care programs for a loved one. I was happy to find a very wide variety of options available within a seven mile radius from the client’s home. Two of the options were housed right in skilled nursing communities. They were actually built for the purpose of housing adult day care, including bathing and kitchen areas. Both were overseen by nurses, indicating they were medical models and designed for people who needed help with activities of daily living. Even though the residents were physically and cognitively impaired, trips were planned at least once a week. Another model that I observed was a part-time program that met for four hours a day. Its activity schedule included exercise, music therapy, and trips. Lunch was provided and seniors needed to use the bathroom independently. The last model that I observed was for individuals who spoke only fluent Russian. The center was located in a huge warehouse setting where the men were busy playing pool and the participants were very independent.So there are options available for various schedules, medical needs, socialization, and language preferences.