WHAT IS “ADULT DAY CARE”?
Adult day service (day care) meets the needs of frail and functionally impaired adults of all ages by providing a supervised and secure setting. Services include a wide range of options such as stimulating recreational group activities to increase or maintain independent living skills and overall self-sufficiency in a Social Model Adult Day Care Program to extensive assistance with activities of daily living and/or medical, therapeutic, or rehabilitation day treatment in a Medical Model Adult Day Care Program. The goal of both models is to assist individuals, whether older adults or those with chronic conditions, to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible. Nationally, almost half of all adult day service (day care) participants have some form of dementia. The balance of participants has chronic diseases such as hypertension, physical disability, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, a behavioral health challenge or a developmental disability.
The National Adult Day Services Association’s Institute on Adult Day Care defines adult day services (day care) as: “Adult day services provide a coordinated program of professional and compassionate services for adults in a community-based group setting. Services are designed to provide social and some health services to adults who need supervised care in a safe place outside the home during the day. They also afford caregivers respite from the demanding responsibilities of caregiving.”
An interdisciplinary team of both professionals and paraprofessionals deliver health, social and supportive services to meet the physical, cognitive or psychosocial needs of the participant in a secure cost effective group setting in the community allowing families to maintain relationships and lifestyles. The caregivers also benefit from these programs as participation of a loved one will allow them to continue working and/or provide a needed break or “respite” from the many caregiving responsibilities as well as offering emotional support or counseling in the form of caregiver support groups.
Despite the lack of stable public funding, the number of centers continues to increase, reflecting the demand and public awareness of adult day services (day care) as an essential community based service to prolong independence and delay institutional placement.
Adult day care centers can include many of the services listed below:
• Social activities
• Therapeutic activities
• Nutrition (meals and snacks)
Adult day service (day care) programs can vary widely from provider to provider. Most centers feature several common elements:
• They are offered at a central program location.
• They are open several hours per day.
• They provide a midday meal and snacks.
• They have no overnight stays.
• They offer a set of core services, always including socialization, watchful oversight, supervision/monitoring and nutrition.
• They provide, or arrange for, other services, depending on the needs of the persons served.
While most adult day service (day care) centers operate programs five days a week during normal business hours, some programs may offer evening and weekend services. Adult day service (day care) centers operate under a variety of auspices, and with varying levels of professional services.