Adult day care centers make it possible for adults with special needs and seniors to take part in care and social programs through certain parts of the day. Adult day care programs can provide a number of benefits to both the individual receiving care and the usual caregivers, who may be feeling overwhelmed.
Individuals may need adult day care when they can’t handle all of their needs on their own, whether that is preparing meals or handling everyday living tasks. Most often, a direct family member or caregiver makes decisions about when adult day care is necessary. For example, if a primary caregiver sees the individual can no longer stay at home alone safely, they may start considering an adult day care center for help.
To ensure the care center chosen offers the most rewarding experience for everyone involved, there are a few general steps on how to choose the best adult day care center.
1. Determine the specific needs that need to be met.
Each individual that seeks adult day care can have different needs that need to be met. These needs don’t just apply to the senior who will be in adult care; the family members or usual caregivers can also have specific needs. The person who will be staying at the center may need:
- A place to spend their time where they have supervision
- Access to social opportunities and interaction
- Assistance with health monitoring, such as checking blood sugar levels or taking medications
- Help with typical skills of daily living, such as eating well-balanced meals and bathing
- Therapeutic care, such as nursing care or physical therapy
- Specialized care for issues with things like dementia or brain injury after a stroke
The usual caregiver for the senior may also have needs. As a primary caregiver, you can dedicate much of your life and time to that role. Caregivers are often looking for someone to help with the senior while they are at work, help with creating a good care plan, or simply just occasional respite care so they can have some free time.
2. Take a look at the available adult day care center options.
Once you know what type of care your loved one needs from an adult day care center, you can look at the options that are available in your area. A number of resources are available to help you find centers. You can:
- Search online using the Eldercare Locator provided by the U.S. Administration on Aging
- Reach out to the Agency on Aging at 1-800-677-1116
- Use the NADSA Center Locator online
You can also find a wealth of information about adult day care centers simply by reaching out to those providing services to seniors in your area. For example, home health services, nursing homes, and geriatric physicians can often give you information about what may be available locally.
3. Schedule an appointment to visit the centers chosen as viable options.
All adult day care centers make it possible for interested parties to visit before committing to a program. If you have more than one place in mind, it never hurts to visit several places. You can garner a lot of information about a center with a quick visit, such as:
- The location, building, and layout
- The security of the location for the adults in care
- The hospitality of the staff members you encounter
- The number of adults at the center at any given time
- The general atmosphere or feeling of the center
4. Ask questions and reach out to references.
The National Adult Day Services Association offers a really good checklist of questions to ask when you pay a visit to a prospective adult day care center. Some of those questions include:
- How long has the center been in business?
- What is the ratio of staff to those being cared for?
- Are there situations when an individual can longer come to the center?
- Will all meals be provided? Can the center handle specific dietary needs?
Once you leave, take note of things like how welcoming the center was, what the individuals receiving care at the center were doing, and how clean the center was.
Don’t forget to also ask for references during a visit to an adult day care center. Getting the opportunity to speak to a few people who have had direct experience with the care offered can give you valuable insight.
5. Give the adult day care center a try.
Easing into adult day care is a good plan; you don’t want to immediately jump into care every day for your loved one. Just as it is with any new environment, new people, and new experience, it can take a little adjustment for your loved one to settle in. The NADSA recommends trying a new center for just a few days a week. You may even consider opting for shorter stays initially, such as four hours instead of eight hours.
The Right Adult Care Center Can Be Life-Changing for the Better
Seniors can face overwhelming emotions when they can no longer tend to their own needs. Transitioning into an adult day care center‘s program can be a big decision, but one that brings along so many advantages. Seniors in these care programs have a better quality of life and are less likely to deal with things like depression, loneliness, and anxiety. If you are looking for an adult day care center in Longwood or Winter Park, FL, or would like to learn more on how to choose the best adult care center, reach out to us at Aliviar Care.