For family caregivers, home care services for an elderly or disabled family member are important. However, adult day care services can provide a welcome addition to care for everyone. For seniors, adult day care centers supply attention, companionship and recreation they might not otherwise have during the day. For their loved one, these facilities provide peace of mind and give respite to caregivers to allow them to work, handle their own personal business or even simply relax.
What to look for in adult day care centers
Just as if you were looking into nursing home care, families looking for a good adult day care center should start by getting information on their local centers. The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) is a good place to start for learning more. According to NADSA, there are 3,400 adult day care centers in the U.S. servicing 150,000 care recipients every day, and they offer suggestions on picking the right one for your family.
The main reasons to use an adult day care service for the care recipient are to delay institutionalization, provide alternative care, boost self-esteem and encourage socialization. For the family caregiver, it can enable going to work, running errands or simply providing downtime to rest and relax.
Each adult day care facility is different, of course, but the best locations should offer at least basic services like:
- Social activities
- Meals and snacks
- Personal care
- Therapeutic activities
A quality adult day care center will conduct an assessment before admission to determine whether the senior’s needs can be met. They will also develop an individualized activity program to meet the senior’s social, recreational and rehabilitation needs. Potential facilities should be carefully toured to ensure a safe and clean environment for the recipient.
Adult day care costs
Constant home care services can be expensive, but adult day care could alleviate some of that cost. According to the NADSA, adult day care centers can range from $25 a day to more than $100 a day, with an average $61 for a regular eight- to 10-hour day. When compared to an average cost of $16 to $20 per hour for staff from a home health care agency, adult day care does provide a more economical alternative. It should be noted too that Medicare does not cover adult day care center costs, but some financial assistance may be available to families and caregivers through other federal programs such as Medicaid, the Veterans Administration or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Adding adult day care to existing home care services can be a great help. Families and caregivers can significantly improve the quality not only of their senior’s lives, but also their own lives as well.