Traditionally day care businesses existed for parents to be able to go to work. Those same parents are also the sons and daughters of other parents. As the kids grow up, the grandparents age and need more care. And during the entire time the parents keep working. That’s where Adult Day Care comes in.
These are the people known as the sandwich generation – caught between taking care of kids and elderly parents.
Eventually the elderly parents are going to need someone to watch over them on a regular basis. The kids may need to work and not be able to watch them during the day.
That’s where adult day care centers can come in handy.
It may be tough to get over the idea that you’re sending your parents to day care. So, don’t think of it as day care. Think of it as a social activity for them. And a BREAK for you!
There are around 5-6,000 adult day care centers in the United States. Most of them are non-profit. They operate with a staff usually consisting of:
- Nurse or other medical personnel
- An activities director
- A social worker
They may also have people who can do physical or occupational therapy. The ratio of staff to participants is usually about 6:1.
Older people can go to adult day care even if they have some type of chronic condition. Many of the people who attend have Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Many adult day care programs are designed to help people with these conditions. They can offer stimulation exercises, memory training and other activities designed to slow down dementia.
The day care will provide meals and care for most of the day. Many of them will even provide transportation to and from the home of the senior (or caregiver).
Adult Day Care has a lot to Offer
In addition, adult day care offers a lot of activities to keep seniors healthy and motivated. Examples of these activities might include:
- Parties for birthdays and holidays
- Music (someone playing or a class to learn)
- Pet therapy
- Meditation or other ways to relax
The cost of day care generally is about $60-$70 per day. Although they are not providing 24/7 care, this may be a good alternative for family caregivers on a budget. It is significantly less than hiring a caregiver to be in the home with the elderly person. It also provides a chance for more social interaction. Medicare won’t cover the cost of adult day care. However, Medicaid and certain Long-Term Care insurance programs may cover at least some costs. A lot depends on the amount and type of medical care involved.
You can find a list of the great day cares around you at the website of the National Adult Day Services Association. You can also call your local Area Agency on Aging for a list. To find your local Area Agency on Aging, you can just Google them. Or you can call 1-800-677-1116. Some great resources can be found in one of our other blog posts. There’s a great adult day care facility near us in Surprise called Benevilla. They have many other locations as well.
Every day I see, hear, and read about family caregivers becoming overwhelmed and burned out by taking care of their parents or other loved ones 24/7. People need a break. Adult day care may be the perfect chance to help both the elderly person and their family caregiver.