Usually, an aging relative will reach a point when their immediate family members must step in and offer the support needed to help them with the activities of daily life like grooming, household chores, and preparing meals. However, as the needs of the elderly individual grow, it can become overwhelming for caregiving relatives to offer everything needed. At this point, adult day care services can be the best solution.
There are about 5,600 adult day centers in the United States. These care centers can drastically enhance the quality of life for both the elderly individual and their family. Here is an in-depth look at some of what you may want to know about adult day services.
Types of Services Available in Adult Day Care
Every adult day care program can differ when it comes to the services and care that they provide. However, the majority of the programs do provide things like:
- Therapeutic exercise
- Daily social activities and interaction with other seniors
- Assistance with certain levels of personal care like help with visiting the restroom or grooming
- Nutritious meals and snacks during the time the senior is at the center
In addition, to help with personal care and the ever-valuable social interaction, some service providers are also known to offer some level of health services, especially those that focus on medical/health care for patients. Skilled nurses and nurses aides can offer help with things like taking medications or monitor certain health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.
How Do You Know Adult Day Care Could Be a Good Option?
Some general indications your family member could benefit from adult day care include:
- They have issues maintaining some kind of structure or schedule in their own daily lives without help
- They spend a lot of time alone, seem lonely, or look for companionship
- They may not be completely safe when left home alone
- They live with you or another relative who works outside of the home
Adult day care is not the same level of care as something a nursing home or assisted living facility would offer. Therefore, adult day services are better for seniors who are still somewhat mobile, even if that requires something like a walker or wheelchair. Nevertheless, every program differs, so who is a good candidate can depend on the program and what it is equipped to handle.
Caregivers should look at their own circumstances as an indicator of whether adult day services would be a good idea as well. For example, if you are the primary caregiver and you are dealing with a lot of frustration, anxiety, or even depression because of the situation, it may be time for a change. Likewise, if you have health problems of your own to tend to, have a family to care for, or work outside of the home, this can make it nearly impossible for you to be the primary caregiver at all times.
Benefits of Adult Day Care Services
A wealth of benefits can come from a good adult day care service, for both the senior and the caregivers of that senior. Studies show that the seniors may:
- Have less issues with depression
- Feel more confident about managing their own behaviors
- Experience a greater sense of well-being
In addition, adult day care may help prolong nursing home placement, which is something most seniors and their families prefer to avoid. Adult day care participants may also have fewer emergency room visits due to accidental injuries like falls or health issues related to not eating, not grooming, or not taking medications.
For the families of those elderly individuals in care, the benefits are just as advantageous. The foremost advantage is having someone to help with care so families have some peace of mind that their loved one is okay. Caregiver stress is a huge problem, and having care just during a large chunk of the day can allow usual caregivers to work, spend time with their own families, and take care of their personal needs.
Steps to Help Your Loved One Transition Into an Adult Day Care Program
The Mayo Clinic recommends two primary points to help ease the transition:
- Be patient about the process; it can take an elderly individual time to warm up to the idea
- Test out a program and allow your relative to get adjusted
You may consider having the individual visit the center for a tour initially and talking to them about the benefits of going there during the day. It may also be a good idea to slowly work into daily care by allowing your loved one to visit a few times a week at first and then gradually increasing their time at the facility.
Reach Out to Aliviar Care to Schedule a Tour
When you pick the right place and allow your loved one to adjust to a new routine, adult day care can be rewarding all the way around. Your elderly family member gets the care and social interaction they need and you can continue to handle responsibilities in your own life. If you would like to know more about adult day care services in Longwood or Winter Park or would like a tour of an Aliviar Care Center, reach out to us for more information.