Adult day care centers are a preferred alternative to nursing home or institutional care, providing activities, opportunities for socialization, convenience, and independence all while providing expert health care dedicated to helping clients improve daily functioning or delay worsening of conditions. There are many reasons to consider adult day care, including the following benefits.
1. Prolonged Independence and Improved Daily Functioning
Medical adult day care centers promote their clients’ ability to remain independent by supplementing the assistance they receive from family caregivers with a program of health care services and activities custom-tailored to each individual’s needs and interests.
By taking part in these activities, clients receive cognitive and physical stimulation that helps to enhance well-being while delaying or preventing a decline in health that would ultimately lead to placement in an assisted living facility or nursing home. In addition, many offer on-site specialists to provide physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. These therapists work with clients to improve daily functioning by developing strength, range of motion, balance and cognitive abilities.
2. Nutrition and Medication Management is a Priority
Ensuring that clients receive proper nutrition and medication each day in the absence of their family caregivers is an important factor in fulfilling the commitment of helping clients maintain the best possible quality of life and well-being.
Caregivers can be assured that nutrition is a top priority. Adult day care centers provide appetizing, wholesome meals and snacks that are approved by a dietician. Meals served at centers typically include provisions for diabetics, vegetarians, sodium-restricted or low-cholesterol diets and other special dietary needs.
Additionally, the staff can administer medications and injections as prescribed, monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment and relaying this information to the client’s physician, caregivers and case manager.
3. A Cost-Effective Alternative to Nursing Homes or Institutions
Adult day care centers offer the most cost-effective long-term care option. While costs differ based on care level and geographic region, nationwide averages show that the annual costs for medical adult day care services are significantly less than those for other long-term care options.
In many cases, services may be paid in part or in full by Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, or private long-term care insurance, although coverage varies by state and policy. Additionally, out-of-pocket expenditures may qualify as a tax-deductible medical expense.
4. The Convenience of Door-to-Door Transportation
Some adult day care centers provide flexible, door-to-door transportation for their clients within a convenient radius of the center.
In addition to transportation to and from centers, many also escort their clients to medical appointments when needed. This service is particularly helpful for caregivers who maintain full- or part-time employment outside the home, as it decreases disruption of and distraction from their work day.
5. Effective Management of Chronic Conditions
When clients come to an adult day care center, they typically receive a customized care plan that incorporates cognitive and physical activities as appropriate in order to help them remain active and intellectually stimulated throughout the day while maintaining or improving their present level of independence and functioning.
Adult day care centers typically staff skilled RNs, LPNs, personal care assistants, activities staff, and therapists who play an important role in helping their clients address the challenges of chronic conditions. The staff is able to help by assisting with daily personal care and hygiene, nutrition and medication management, blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring, tracheotomy care and tube feeding, and offering on-site physical, speech and occupational therapy. Additionally, many centers will work with families in the implementation of these health management and therapeutic techniques, so they can take an active role in the client’s care and treatment at home.
Adult day care centers provide many benefits for both caregivers and their loved ones. The convenience, health assurance, socialization, and cost all contribute to the many reasons that adult day care is becoming a preferred choice for caregivers. The decision for what type if care is best for your loved one can be difficult. Before making the decision, consider if adult day care may be the right choice for these reasons, and many more.
Lynn M. Grayson, Public Relations Account Manager for Active Day, Inc., works with more than 50 centers in seven states to help promote the benefits of medical adult day care for seniors and disabled adults. For more information on Active Day go to http://www.activeday.com or call the nearest center to you.