What Is Adult Day Care for Seniors?
Many people over the age of 65 require a certain degree of assistance with activities of daily living, but they are still able to be mostly independent. These seniors still live at home but could benefit from some extra assistance and social stimulation throughout the day. Adult Day Care for Seniors is an option for providing Seniors with a safe and helpful environment. It’s an enjoyable place they can go during the day to meet other seniors and join in activities. Adult Day Care has been gaining in popularity amongst seniors over the past several years. According to the National Adult Day Services Association (NASDA), attendance at Adult Day Care facilities has climbed to 150,000 people across the US.
Many Seniors who attend an Adult Day Care also receive regular care from loving family members who also need to attend to their own relationships, careers and personal health during the day. In this regard, utilizing an Adult Day Care can be of double benefit, providing the senior with more independence, healthy activities, and social stimulation, while allowing the caregivers at home to tend to their own needs.
What Types of Senior Day Care are Available?
The different types of Senior Day Care can be broken down into six categories, and they vary based on the level of caregiving required by the individual. Deciding which of the six types would be best for you or your loved one, is a great first step toward researching Adult Day Care facilities.
- Transitional Day Care– Seniors who are still recovering from recent medical procedures and prolonged hospital stays can attend Transitional Day Care to complete their rehabilitation. For example, if the Senior were to have surgery and is expected to make a full recovery but requires a little extra help during the day for a short period of time, then Transitional Day Care is the place.
- Congregational Day Care– These day cares are funded and offered through religious organizations for the elderly members of their congregation. Regular observation of their religion is often featured in many of their activities. If you are a member of a religious group that offers Adult Day Care, utilizing these services are often very economical and may be right for you or your loved one.
- Active Adult Day Care– The main goal for these Adult Day Cares, is to give Seniors who don’t have many medical needs and are still able to take care of themselves, the opportunity to be socially engaged, and physically active. Isolation often leads to depression for many seniors who don’t feel as though they have much to do during the day and attending an Active Adult Day Care can help Seniors stay connected.
- Adult Day Care Palliative Services– Palliative care services mean that the individual requires continuous medical monitoring and assistance. Usually Seniors who attend Palliative Day Care centers during the day, also receive continuous in-home caregiving during the evening. Palliative Day Care centers work closely with medical providers to ensure the health needs of each person are being met throughout the day.
- Veteran Adult Day Care Facilities– Offered by VA hospitals, these Adult Day Cares are Veterans-only and often just for Veterans who require skilled medical assistance and regular help with activities of daily living. There are other organizations though the state and local communities who offer facilities for more active Veteran Seniors as well. Senior Veterans can get signed up for Adult Day Health Care through the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Applying for coverage to attend a regular Adult Day Care facility as a Veteran, depends on the type of insurance package.
- Memory Care Day Centers– Seniors who are experiencing the progressive memory loss caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s can attend Memory Care Day Centers. On staff, is a specialized team of people who understand the needs of people with progressive memory loss. The staff also specializes in engaging its members with activities geared toward slowing down the progression of memory loss.
What Services and Activities Are Offered in Senior Day Care?
A safe environment, and nutritious meals are the first two staples of any Adult Day Care. Beyond that, the services and activities are greatly varied. The main focus of any Adult Day Care itinerary should be focused on encouraging the seniors to be healthy and engage socially.
Services May Include:
- Counseling services to encourage emotional and mental health
- Group physical therapy exercises to ease aches and pains common with aging, such as tai chi, light aerobics, and yoga.
- Outdoor recreation
- Regular health screenings by visiting physicians
- Medication management
- Transportation to and from the facility
The organized activities in most Adult Day Care facilities gear their chosen activities around providing physical and educational value to their member’s lives. About 80% of all Adult Day Cares provide memory care activities because they are cognitively stimulating.
Activities May Include:
- Board games/ card games/ bingo
- Crossword puzzles
- Field trips to museums and cultural events
- Book discussion clubs
- Arts and crafts
- Themed trivia
- Pet, Music, and Cooking therapy courses
- Memory recall games
There is a group mentality of inclusion in Adult Day Care centers, that encourage everyone to get involved, and get to know each other.
What Is the Cost of Senior Day Care?
Adult Day Care is often more affordable than a nursing home or hiring an in-home caregiver. For the Senior who doesn’t require any specialized care, attendance can be as low as $25 a day, and includes meals, snacks, and organized activities. People requiring advanced care, need regular medical assistance, or even just want more upscale activity options, can easily pay over $100 a day. The daily rate depends on what type of services you require, and what type of benefits or discounts you receive through your insurance benefits.
Paying for Adult Day Care
- Private Insurance– People who have private insurance along with Medicare, may be eligible to receive some financial assistance for covering Adult Day Care services.
- Medicaid– People in a low-income bracket who qualify for Medicaid, are eligible for assistance with Adult Day Care in every US state, by contacting Medicaid and requesting a 1915 waiver. Medicaid State plans may also provide additional funding while waiting for the waiver to be granted.
- Veteran’s Programs-If the person has VHA medical benefits and a Veteran’s pension, then Adult Day Care Services should be covered. Veteran’s without VHA benefits, can only get Adult Day Care covered when the Veteran is in need of skilled medical assistance and help with activities of daily living.
- Out-of-Pocket– People who are able to pay out-of-pocket, can often negotiate a discount for saving the facility the trouble of going through insurance. Usually these funds come from a retirement savings account, or the selling of a property.
Please note, if Medicare is the only form of insurance, any coverage for attending Adult Day Care will be highly unlikely.
When to Consider Adult Day Care?
Making the choice to utilize Adult Day Care, should always revolve around improving the lives of you and your loved ones. Adult Day Care is often best for those who aren’t ready to leave home but could still benefit from a supervised environment. The level of supervision varies greatly, depending on the type of Senior Day Care facility, and the needs of the individual. Some seniors need continuous daily care that over an extended period of time, can put strain on the health of the caregivers. In this regard, it’s important for the caregiver to also have time to take care of themselves. As a result, everyone in the family benefits. Some seniors have very few medical needs, and just find themselves spending too much time alone, which can result in depression and rapid decline. In this regard, Adult Day Care gives people a sense of purpose, and a place to go have a nice time surrounded by other people.
Today it is possible to find an Adult Day Care for almost any individual and almost any budget. Even for a few days a week, statistics show there are health benefits to utilizing Adult Day Care for both the seniors, and their family members. In a survey done by NADSA, it was concluded that families participating in Adult Day Care are happier, healthier, and enjoy a greater overall quality of life.