Saturday, October 31, 2020

Adult Day Centers know the difference

 If your loved one lives with you, but you need help that will allow you to go to work and engage in other activities, then adult daycare might be the solution for you. Even if you don't work the option will provide respite care and prevent caregiver burnout. Some Adult Day Centers have other services such as being a resource center, offering a support group, working closely with a social worker and a registered nurse.

Adult Day Center centers are designed for older individuals who need help with activities of daily living or who are isolated and lonely. At the centers, seniors are able to socialize with others while receiving assistance and supervision. It’s especially beneficial for those who can no longer structure their own daily activities, desire social interaction, or can’t be safely left alone at home. At the same time, the centers give caregivers a break from around-the-clock care and provide peace of mind that their loved one is in good hands. There are varying levels of adult day care that cater to seniors’ specific needs.

These facilities focus on enriching seniors’ lives through an engaging social community and activities that build upon each individual’s skills, knowledge, and unique abilities.

The basic core of every Adult Day Center should be something like this:

Daily Scheduled activities usually include:

  1. Creative expression through arts and crafts
  2. Musical entertainment and group sing-a-longs
  3. Mental stimulation games like bingo, Word search, or Charades
  4. Stretching and gentle exercise like chair yoga
  5. Discussion groups about books, films, or current events
  6. Holiday and birthday celebrations
  7. Local outings
  8. Nutritious meals and snacks (supervised by a registered dietician, to meet the individual's needs)
  9. Besides recreational activities, some programs provide transportation to and from the center, health support services such as blood pressure monitoring, and vision screening.

Adult Day Health Care (PACE)

These facilities typically use the term Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) because they provide medical services and physical, occupational, and speech therapy to seniors. They are usually staffed with an RN and other health professionals. It is common practice for the program to require a health assessment by a physician prior to admission.

ADHC centers provide frail adults experiencing physical, mental, or social problems associated with stroke, isolation, confusion, or other conditions with the opportunity to meet new people, participate in activities and enjoy daily life in a comfortable, supervised setting.

Joint Medicare and Medicaid participants may be eligible to receive ADHC from a local Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). These programs serve individuals who are 55 or older, certified by their state as needing nursing home level care, able to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment, and living in a PACE service area. While all PACE participants must be certified to need nursing home care to enroll, 93 percent live in the community and get their daily care at a PACE adult day health care center.

Delivering all needed medical and supportive services, a PACE program provides the entire continuum of care and services to seniors with chronic care needs while maintaining their independence in their homes for as long as possible.

I am a huge fan of the PACE programs, as they offer support to the family on every level. As the patient needs change the social worker finds options and solutions for the family. You need help with finding a nursing home for your loved one? PACE will take care of that. You need help with end of life services? PACE will take care of that. This is why, I'm a HUGE, fan of this program. There is only one con, that families find very hard to do, you have to change all your doctors and work with theirs. Is it worth it? in the long run, it is, very much so. Taking care of our elders is such a daunting road, we need all the support and help we can get. 

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Day Center

These programs provide social and health services specifically for seniors with cognitive challenges. In this setting, activities appropriate for the participants’ functional abilities are provided in a secure environment to prevent wandering, and the staff has specialized training in dementia care. My heart is invested in this type of program, why do you ask? Well, I managed the activity program for ten years in a Memory Care Center. We had a great staff that helped create a welcoming and home-like atmosphere. Aww, how I miss our little blue house.

How to Select a Care Center

First, start by considering the needs of your loved one. Are social activities important to them? Do they need assistance with walking, eating, or taking medications? Is mental stimulation a priority? What are their exercise needs? I would suggest the patients to spend two days visiting the center. Keep in mind that some seniors are very hesitant to attend such centers. It's all about how you present the idea. Take a tour just you, without your loved one. Visit at least three centers, make a list of the pro's and con's, talk to the social worker.

It is also important to consider your own needs as well. Are you looking for general support? Some free time? Help with transportation? These questions will help you determine which of the three main types of adult day care centers (social, health-focused, or specialized Alzheimer’s/dementia care) will be the best fit.

In these COVID-19 times, there are centers that offer these services. Of course following the proper health guidelines. It all starts with a phone call.

We are on this bumpy road together, you are not alone!
Be Prepared, Be Informed, Be Empowered.
I send you beams of virtual good vibes.