Adult day care gives the caregiver the day off while ensuring the care recipient still receives care in a safe, friendly environment. These centers usually operate during normal business hours five days a week. Some centers also offer additional services during evenings and weekends.
There are three main types of adult day care centers: those that focus primarily on social interaction, those that provide medical care, and those dedicated to Alzheimer’s care. Many of these facilities are affiliated with other organizations, including skilled nursing facilities, medical centers, or home care agencies. The average participant in this type of program is a 76-year-old female who lives with a spouse or adult children. About 50 percent of these individuals have some form of cognitive impairment and more than half require assistance with at least two daily living activities.
Regulation of adult day care centers is at the discretion of each state. Several overall guidelines are, however, offered by the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA). Adult day care staff usually consists of a social worker, an activity director, and an activity aide, who often is a certified nursing aide (CNA). Many activities, such as entertainment, are run by volunteers.
Adult Day Care: Benefits
A care recipient can benefit from adult day care because:
- It allows him or her to stay in his or her community while the caregiver goes to work
- Gives him or her a break from the caregiver
- Provides needed social interaction
- Gives greater structure to his or her daily activities
Adult Day Care: Services
Adult day care facilities can provide a variety of services and activities, including:
- Assistance with eating, taking medicines, toileting, and/or walking
- Educational programs or mental stimulation
- Exercise programs
- Health monitoring (e.g., blood pressure, food or liquid intake)
- Podiatry care
- Preparation of meals and snacks
- Social activities
- Therapy (occupational, physical, speech, etc.)
- Transportation services
Adult Day Care: Social Interaction Benefits
Social activities in adult day care centers can include:
- Field trips
- Holiday parties
- Music therapy
- Pet therapy
- Relaxation techniques
Adult day centers provide beneficial services and programs that enhances the recipient’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.