Ask The Expert: Adult Day Care
Kimberly Smith, Immediate Past President of Indiana Association of Adult Day Services & Administrator of Golden Gardens Adult Day Center in Indianapolis, Indiana
Q: What are Adult Day Services?
A: Adult Day Services are resources for the aging adult with physical or cognitive impairments that offers an intermediate step between living independently and moving into an assisted living or nursing home facility. A highly cost effective long term care alternative, adult day service providers provide meals, medication reminders, and therapeutic activities in a safe, structured and homelike environment.
Q: Are Adult Day Services a viable option for my loved one?
A: Adult Day Services are designed for aging adults over 18 years of age with chronic physical or mental impairments who cannot be left at home alone during the day. Those who benefit from Adult Day Services include individuals in early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease; adults with developmental disabilities; victims of strokes, heart attack or accidents; those who are homebound and in need of social stimulation; and people who require assistance with daily activities.
Q: What is the cost of Adult Day Services?
A: Adult Day Services offer the most cost-effective option available for health care needs. While costs differ based on different centers and on each client’s needs, nationwide averages show that the cost for full time Adult Day Services are roughly half of the cost of assisted living facilities and less than one quarter of the costs of nursing home care. In many cases, these costs may be paid in part or in full by Medicaid Waiver, Veteran’s Administration or private long-term care insurance. Some centers offer a “Trial Day,” for your loved one to try a day at the center prior to paid services beginning; make sure to check with the center for this.
Q: How do I know Adult Day Services are a benefit for my loved one?
A: Adult Day Centers are staffed with attentive and caring professionals that offer comprehensive supervision and social programs in a comfortable environment. Each participant receives an individual care assessment performed at admission, then a customized program of cognitive and physical activities designed to maintain or improve their level of independence and functioning. When looking at whether your loved one is benefiting from Adult Day Services ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is my loved one coming home tired after a day at Adult Day? Your loved one should be busy throughout the day with activities, which in turn will help them to rest better during the night.
2. Is the center working to promote independence? The Adult Day Center should be working with your loved one daily to maintain or increase their independence and this should be evident at home.
3. Are you as the primary caregiver working to support your loved ones needs less? With the Adult Day Center working to maintain and increase your loved ones independence, you as the primary caregiver should feel the work load relieved a little moving forward.
4. After 30 days is your loved one more responsive? After attending Adult Day and being involved in a socially stimulating environment you should notice your loved one being more responsive to you and their surroundings.
Kimberly Smith is the Immediate Past President of Indiana Association of Adult Day Services & Administrator of Golden Gardens Adult Day Center in Indianapolis, Indiana