Adult day care is a day-care center for the elderly, a service that families can use to help them care for seniors who have physical or emotional needs.
Adult day care is a great option for older adults who can benefit from socialization among their peers, recreation, and healthy meals in a supervised, safe, social setting. By enabling the senior to attend the program during the day, they are able to return home at night.
It has been estimated that within the next 10-15 years such centers will be as popular as day care centers for children. Of the approximately 1,200 centers now in operation, 74% are private nonprofit facilities. The average center generally shares physical facilities with other programs, and operates 5 days a week. A center averages about 20 patients per day.
Filling an “extended family” role by offering supervision, companionship, recreation, and medical attention, it is often a viable alternative to institutionalization. It allows people who need chronic care at home to stay in the community as long as possible. Some centers even provide transportation to and from the center.
Seniors generally take part in the program on a scheduled basis and the services offered may include: counseling, education, exercise, meals, medical care, physical therapy, recreation, respite care, socialization, supervision, and medication management.
Furthermore, it offers relatives and other caregivers a break from the daily care required for an older adult. It is ideal when the caretaker works during the day and has no one to stay with the older adult.
Nation-wide, nearly 100 million dollars a year is spent on this.
The cost varies depending on the types of services offered. The typical cost of adult day centers is under $60 per day.
Insurance companies may pay for this service if the provider states that the older person would otherwise need to go to a nursing home. In some cases, Medicaid may pay part of the cost. Veterans Administration benefits and special scholarships are other sources of funding. Some centers charge on a sliding scale based on income. Tax credits may also be available for the care of the elderly.
Adult day care today acts as a bridge between full-time home care and full-time nursing care. Extended nursing home stays are the greatest source of catastrophic costs for the elderly.