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What is an Adult Day Care Center?

Caring for an aging parent or individual can be challenging, primarily if you work or don’t have additional support. If you’re a caregiver struggling to provide adequate care for your aging parent throughout the week, an adult day care center can be a wonderful, cost-effective solution.

An adult day care center offers daily care at a facility designed with an elderly adult’s needs in mind. Activities may include card games, arts and crafts, musical performances and singalongs, discussion groups, gentle exercises, and birthday and holiday celebrations.  In addition, the center’s staff monitors aging adults and assists with hygiene, bathroom use, meal time, and other daily living tasks, as needed. Many adult day care centers have a nurse on staff to administer medications or deal with any medical-related situations that arise.

Some centers might provide specialized services such as regular blood pressure screenings or counseling for patients and caregivers.

Why choose an adult day care center?

Adult day care centers benefit families struggling to balance care of a senior loved one with the demands of a full time job.   If you work during the day, using an adult day care center means not choosing between your job and caring for an aging parent. More than 80% of adult day care participants attend full days, and 46% attend five days per week, enabling family caregivers to remain in the workforce.

Utilizing an adult day care center can provide caregivers with needed breaks, reducing stress and preventing burnout.  They also help control the cost of care as the hourly rates are less than the cost of an aide in the home.

Center activities keep seniors mentally and physically active. Regular socialization prevents feelings of isolation and loneliness for seniors who are otherwise on their own during the day.

Who needs an adult day care center?

Think of an adult day care center as being a safe, supportive environment for seniors who require assistance with activities of daily living or for those who have a chronic illness or cognitive impairment.

An adult day care center is a good option for elderly patients who require supervision at home but don’t require 1:1 care or skilled clinical care. For example, an older adult with memory difficulties and arthritis might find meal preparation difficult and even unsafe. In this case, an adult care center ensures they receive proper care and nutrition throughout the day.

An adult care center is an excellent choice for seniors with balance or mobility issues who face added risk of falls and injuries. Seniors with Parkinson’s disease or similar health conditions often struggle with eating, hand washing, and other daily living tasks. Adult day care centers ensure their proper care throughout the day.

Utilizing these centers allows a caregiver to get some needed rest or tend to other responsibilities without compromising your elderly parent’s care.

Finding the right adult day care center

While an adult day care center can certainly alleviate stress for families, trying to find the right one can have just the opposite effect! Some basic questions to ask when evaluating adult day centers would be whether they are a medical model and have a nurse on site, do they provide transportation? How your loved one will “fit in” can be a big component of whether they succeed at an adult day center.  Ask about the mix of high functioning members and those with more advanced dementias?  Does that match your loved one?  What are the costs and is there any support for those with challenging financial situations?   The Alzheimer’s Association offers an excellent guide for choosing an adult day program for your loved one

If you have further questions or need help piecing together the right resources for the care of a senior loved one reach out to Oasis Senior Advisors (914.356.1901 or 475.619.4123) or use our online form.

Oasis Senior Advisors


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Paul and Susan Doyle

Certified Senior Advisor®

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