Adult Day Care Tips
TIPS FOR VISITING AN ADULT DAY CARE SERVICE
Adult day centers vary widely in the services they offer to seniors and the types of clients they accept. Because of that, it is important to determine ahead of time what is important to you for your family member. The most common reason for using an adult day service is to socialize the senior and for someone to watch the senior during the day and provide any medical assistance he or she may need. Once you determine your goals and the reason you are looking to utilize Adult Day Services, you will be able to better evaluate the adult day centers you tour.
1. ASK WHO USES AND IS ALLOWED TO USE THE ADULT DAY CARE SERVICE
The last thing you want is for your family member to make this transition and then have to start over with a new center in a few months because their health continues to worsen. Find out what specific conditions are accepted, for example incontinence, walkers, wheelchairs and dementia, or is it strictly to socialize. If your family member is in the early stages of a progressive disease, will they be able to accommodate him or her now and in the immediate future? It is better to find that out now so that when the disease does worsen, the senior will be able to stay in the environment that is already familiar.
2. FIND OUT THE PRICE OF THE ADULT DAY CARE SERVICE
Determine if the Adult Day Service you are looking at charges weekly, daily or hourly. Ask if there is a minimum daily charge. Other additional charges that might apply are for meals and activities. What if the senior needs medication reminders or assistance? Find out if that service is even available and if there will be an additional fee. If transportation services are available find out how much they cost and where they go. Make sure you clearly understand the fee structure. Also ask if there are any area programs to help with these fees associated with the Adult Day Service.
3. IS THE STAFF AT THE ADULT DAY CARE SERVICE TRAINED OR EXPERIENCED?
As you tour, watch how the staff interacts with the residents. Do they know their names and talk with them respectfully? Ask the administrator about the hiring process. Is staff given background checks? Is there on-going training and education after they are hired? What are the credentials of the supervisor? What is the staff to client ratio? Are there at least two paid staff members on-site at all times? How do they handle medical emergencies? If your state requires adult day centers to be licensed, ask for the results of their last survey.
4. WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE OFFERED AT ADULT DAY CARE SERVICE?
A primary reason many families seek adult day care is to provide their loved one with the opportunity for socialization and enrichment. As you are you are touring centers, observe the activities going on. Are residents participating? Are there individual and group activities? Ask to see the event calendar and ask questions about planned activities. Are there planned opportunities for residents to go on shopping trips to area malls or out to local restaurants? How many staff members go along to assist residents who need extra help? What is your overall impression of the center? Do residents seem engaged and content or asleep and bored?
5. ARE MEDICAL SERVICES AVAILABLE AT THE DAY CARE?
Depending on the type of adult day care service you are looking at, medical day care may be available. Check with the provider to see if medical services are offered, and if so, ask what level of care is available. Medical adult day care can range from Alzheimer’s and dementia care to care for seniors who have suffered from a heart attack or a stroke.