Does your parent or other loved one need more help at home than you can give? Do you need to take a lot of time off work to drive Mom to appointments or just look in on her? Do you worry that Dad is alone too much? If so, one option to look into is adult day services. Adult day programs provide health services, fun activities, and a chance to meet other seniors in a safe environment. Services are typically offered during normal work hours, though extended day hours may be available, and some programs even offer care on weekends. This makes it easier for caregivers to attend regular jobs, take care of their children, or just get a bit of a break from the role of caregiver. Many centers can provide for, or help arrange, transportation to and from the center. You might have Mom picked up just before you head for work, then pick her up on your way home, for example. Most centers provide a meal and snacks, and are able to meet special dietary needs and provide assistance with eating. A typical center can oversee medications, help with tasks such as bathing and using the bathroom, and provide opportunities for safe physical activity.
Adult Day Services – What Do They Do?
All adult day services are not the same, so it’s important to know which type will best meet your loved one’s needs.
Social-oriented day services are best for seniors with few health issues. The main point is just to get out of the house and have fun with other seniors, though some basic health services, such as blood pressure monitoring and medication assistance, are typically offered. Classes in anything from cooking to crafts, sight-seeing trips, games, and exercise programs are just a few of the activities that may be offered. In addition, many of these programs run support groups and provide counseling for those dealing with the loss of a spouse or other difficult life event.
Medical-oriented day services are best for those seniors that need more health care assistance during the day. Social activities will still be offered, but there will be a greater variety of health services offered too, such as physical and occupational therapy, nursing services, and rehabilitation assistance. Some even provide dental and physical exams, making it easier to get those important health appointments in. These centers can be a great choice for those recovering from a stroke or other ailment if they are not quite ready to move back home full-time.
Specific-condition day services are best for seniors who would benefit from the knowledge and services provided by a specialized program. Some focus mainly on patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, for example. These day services can also offer treatments tailored to a patient’s needs, such as speech therapy and cognitive training exercises. Attending one of these programs can be a boon to a patient’s treatment program, providing a regular daily routine during what can be a difficult and confusing time. In addition, you can gain a little peace of mind knowing that your loved one has regular access to a team of medical professionals.