What is adult day care?
Adult day care is a planned program of activities in a professional care setting designed for older adults who require supervised care during the day, or those who are isolated and lonely. Adult day care centers enable seniors to socialize and enjoy planned activities in a group setting, while still receiving needed health services. At the same time, they offer family caregivers respite from caregiving duties while knowing that their loved one is in a safe place.
Services vary between facilities, including the level of care offered. While one type of center focuses mainly on social and recreation services, with a few health-related and personal care services, another type will provide more comprehensive medical and therapeutic services. These could include physical, occupational, or speech therapy, for example, or medical services administered by a registered nurse or other health professional. Finally, a third type of facility will offer specialized services for adults with a specific health condition, such as dementia or a disability.
Adult day care centers tend to operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, although some services may be available in the evenings or on weekends. Whatever the range of services, the intent is primarily two-fold:
To provide older adults an opportunity to get out of the house and receive both mental and social stimulation, as well as the continuing care they need.
To give caregivers a much-needed break in which to work, attend to personal needs, or simply to rest and relax.
Whether you’re looking at day care services for yourself or an older adult you’re caring for, these tips can help you find the center that best fits your needs.
Services provided by adult day care centers
The goal of Joe’s Club is to focus on enriching participants’ lives, building upon their skills and strengths, and providing lots of social interaction. Each facility includes:
Social activities. Planned activities tend to be tailored to the participants’ abilities and health conditions, but may encompass such things as arts and crafts, musical entertainment and sing-a-longs, mental stimulation games such as bingo, stretching or other gentle exercise, discussion groups (for books, films, or current events, for example), holiday and birthday celebrations, and local outings.
Nutrition. Joe’s Club provides seniors with nutritious meals, including those that accommodate special diets, along with snacks.
Personal care. Center staff can help with the activities of daily living such as grooming, toilet hygiene, walking, and feeding.
Health services. Joe’s Club is a health model. Our nurses can perform medication dispensing, diabetes management, blood pressure monitoring, and hearing checks.
Transportation. Joe’s Club provides transportation to and from the center.
Services for caregivers. Joe’s Club provides case management, counseling, support groups for caregivers, help for care planning, and caregiving education.
And so much more …
For the participant, our center’s benefits can be extensive.
- Joe’s Club provides a safe, secure environment in which to spend the day or part of the day.
- Offers enjoyable and educational activities.
- Appropriate physical exercise can help to reduce falls.
- Meaningful social interaction can improve both mental and physical health and help to prevent or delay cognitive decline.
- Mental and social stimulation during the day can improve the quality of your sleep at night.
- Participation in adult day care activities may even enhance or maintain your level of independence, keeping you living at home longer by relieving caregiver fatigue and delaying your escalation of dependence.
- Having control over activities you partake in can bolster your self-esteem.
- Adult day care offers the chance to build new friendships and enjoy peer support.
Seeking support and maintaining your own health are key to managing your role as a caregiver, so it’s not selfish to use the services of Joe’s Club to give you some time to yourself. If you’re overwhelmed by the daily grind of caregiving, your patience and compassion will wear thin, you’ll find it harder to connect with the person you’re caring for, and you’ll probably both feel unfulfilled.
- Taking regular breaks from the demands of caregiving can reduce your stress levels and help you to avoid burnout.
- Being able to recharge your batteries can leave you feeling more energetic, focused, and reinvigorated about your caregiving role.
- Using an adult day care facility can enable you to continue working, attend school, or devote more time to other family members.
- Can give you peace of mind that your loved one isn’t home alone but is in a supervised and safe environment.
As a senior, it can be challenging to admit that you’re lonely or need help, especially if you’ve been a highly independent person used to caring for others all your life. But it’s important to remember that most of us over the age of 65 will require some type of long-term care services. There’s nothing to be ashamed about in admitting you need more help than you used to. After all, we’ve all had to rely on others at some point during our adult lives, be it for help at work or home, for professional services, or simply for moral support. For many of us, independence is recognizing when it’s time to ask for help.
Similarly, if you’re the caregiver, it may be difficult to consider allowing “strangers” to care for your beloved family member. But even if you know that you’re the best possible person to care for your loved one, that’s no reason not to seek Joe’s Club. Taking time off is vital to your health and well-being and having time apart can help refresh and rejuvenate any relationship.
As with any service, the best time to start exploring what’s available is before you actually need it. You may want to consider using adult day care when a senior:
- Can no longer structure their own daily activities.
- Is isolated and desires companionship.
- Can’t be safely left alone at home.
- Lives with someone who works outside the home or who is frequently away from home for other reasons.
Good candidates for adult day care centers are seniors who . . .
- Can benefit from the friendship and functional assistance a day care center offers.
- May be physically or cognitively challenged but do not require 24-hour supervision.
- Are in the early to mid stages of Alzheimer’s disease.