Some of the greatest benefits of caring for seniors at home include the flexibility of budgeting and care schedules.
To that end, we want to share a service that can exponentially enhance both of those: adult day care services. These services also enhance the senior’s lifestyle by getting the client out and about, socializing and interacting with other residents and the variety of staff members.
So, while you may enjoy peace of mind during your regular workday, or the relief of occasional daytime respite care, your loved one will appreciate regular contact with friends and getting a change of scenery – something we all consider essential parts of life.
Adult Day Care Services Offer Daytime Care Support
Caregiving always presents challenges, especially for families providing care for seniors at home while still working, raising children, participating in extracurricular activities, etc. Adult day care services are a wonderful tool in the in-home care toolbox, providing the licensed, experienced, and engaging care your loved one deserves.
Most adult day care agencies operate Monday through Friday, across a range of typical business work and school day schedules. That said, some offer regular or sporadic weekend options, or may provide seasonal “date night out” offerings or game nights, etc.
While policies, rates, and service times vary from location to location, the following is a list of general services and features offered by most adult day care providers.
Licensed and qualified senior care professionals
As with any care provider, it’s up to you to verify credentials. However, most professional adult day care agencies are licensed with the state and employ staff members who are experienced in basic, non-medical senior care and/or the facility provides training to their roster of employees.
Special Note: As with home care agencies, senior day care centers have varying specialties that range between medical- and non-medical care. If your loved one requires medical care, you’ll want to specify that when contacting prospects. Or, look specifically for senior day care centers that offer the type of medical assistance required.
Social engagement and guided activities
As we mentioned above, social engagement is essential for all humans, especially those whose lifestyle or medical needs keep them isolated from the typical day-to-day activities, comings, and goings.
The most common activities offered by adult day care centers include:
- Card and board games
- Music performances by staff, volunteers or clients
- Arts and crafts
- Games designed for mental/interactive stimulation such as Bingo or fun quizzes
- Discussion groups (books, current events, movies, etc.)
- Birthday parties
- Seasonal activities and celebrations
These fun activities often make the adult day care days the most anticipated days of the week for their senior clients.
Outings around town
Occasionally, you may get a letter or need to sign a permission slip for your parent or loved one to go on a social outing or field trip. This might be a regular offering of “Monday at the Movies,” or to attend a special or seasonal event in the community.
Good weather may bring walks through botanical gardens or museums, to a ball game, or for frozen yogurt in a town square. Of course, these are optional and staff is always available at the center to provide care for those who aren’t able to attend due to scheduling conflicts, lack of interest in a particular outing, or if an event might be overstimulating (such as a crowded ballgame for someone with dementia).
Nutritious meals & snacks
Adult day care centers are happy to work with their clients’ dietary restrictions or sensitivities. They plan nutritious lunches and snacks, so there’s no need to pack anything along unless you feel the need.
Exercise & movement
You don’t stop needing exercise over the age of 65. Regular physical activity and movement (with respect to mobility and physical disabilities) are more important than ever to keep the brain stimulated, the cells oxygenated, and to maintain strong muscles and bones.
From exercise classes, stretching sessions, or dance parties to senior yoga and water exercise (some adult day care centers are located in recreation-type centers where seniors have access to pools, or this may be part of the weekly outing offerings), most senior day care centers strive to keep their attendees both mentally and physically active.
The staff is fully trained, willing, and equipped to support your loved one with general personal care needs, including toileting, grooming, walking from place to place, or feeding/eating.
As we mentioned above, some adult day care prospects provide more health-related services than others.
For example, while some may offer medication reminders that the senior would have with them retrieve from a personal cabinet or locker, another may have clinicians who can administer the medications.
There are also adult day care centers that specialize in health-related care to accommodate vision or hearing checks, blood pressure monitoring, symptom management, physical/occupational therapy, etc.
This is another optional amenity that may or may not be offered by the adult day care center in your area. It may be a door-to-door service offering or a van or shuttle that goes to specific city centers or regional stops.
In some cases, transportation is provided for an additional cost.
Other senior resources and support
As the caregiver for a senior loved one, you may benefit from additional seniors services or support offered by the center. If nothing else, these centers – just like community senior-based centers – have their fingers on the pulse on what’s available for seniors and caregivers in your area.
Taking Advantage Of Adult Day Care Services In Your Area
The D.C. area is fortunate to have a range of adult day care centers in our area.
Search online for centers near you and to learn more about how adult day care services support seniors living at home – as well as the ones who care for them.
Gain more helpful tips and advice on caregiving from these resources: