The "Buzz" - A Newsletter for Insurance Professionals

Adult Day Care - July 3, 2005

What is Adult Day Care?
Adult day care provides an organized program of services during the day in a community group setting for the purpose of supporting the personal independence of older adults and promoting their social, physical, and emotional well-being. Programs must offer a variety of activities designed to meet the individual needs and interests of the participants including referral to and assistance in using other community resources.

Adult day care centers can be public or private, non-profit or for-profit. The intent of an adult day center is primarily two-fold:

  • To provide older adults an opportunity to get out of the house and receive both mental and social stimulation
  • To give caregivers a much-needed break in which to attend the personal needs, or simply rest and relax

Good candidates for adult day care are seniors who:

  • Can benefit from the friendship and functional assistance a day care center offers
  • May be physically or cognitively challenged but do not require 24-hour supervision
  • Are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Adult day care center participants need to be mobile, With the possible assistance of a cane, walker or wheelchair, and in most cases, they must also be continent.

What is Adult Day Health Care?

Adult day health care programs serve older adults with disabilities who need a higher level of care, but can still benefit from receiving services in a group setting. In addition to the services of the Adult Day Care Program, the Adult Day Health Care Program also offers: physical, occupational and speech therapies, nursing supervision, monitoring of vital signs, blood glucose, blood pressure, medications, assistance with bathroom visits, dietary counseling and supervision, psychological counseling, and an Individualized Plan of Care.

Why Adult Day Care?

  • The elderly population is the fastest growing segment in the United States.
  • The number of people over 65 years of age will grow to 53 million by 2020.
  • By the year 2020, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65.
  • Average life expectancy has increased 15 years since the founding of the Social Security system in the 1930’s.

What Does it Cost? Is Financial Assistance Available?

Costs vary according to the level of care provided, which is different at different types of adult day care programs. Adult day care programs start at about $30 to $70 or more per day. Providing a wide range of activities and support for frail adults who are at risk for falls, accidents, and depression, these programs are more affordable than home care, and more effective at alleviating isolation, encouraging appropriate exercise and providing dome intellectual stimulation.

While Medicare does not cover the cost of adult day care, long-term care insurance may pay for adult day care services, depending upon the policy.

What Services does an Adult Day Care Center Provide?

A well-run adult day care center’s goals will focus on enriching the participants’ lives, building upon their skills, knowledge, and unique abilities and strengths. These are some of the activities that are available:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Musical entertainment and sing-a-longs
  • Mental stimulation games such as BINGO
  • Stretching or other gentle exercises
  • Discussion groups (books, films, current events)
  • Holiday and birthday celebrations
  • Local outings

Adult Day Care in North Carolina? Union County?

As of May 12, 2005, Only 58 of the 100 North Carolina counties had adult day care centers. The 107 centers in North Carolina had 3,291 certified slots available.

In Union County there are two adult day care centers. The New Testament Adult Day Care has a capacity of 50 participants. The New Testament Day Care is located at 2603 Goldmine Road, Monroe, North Carolina 28110. The Director is Reverend Lee E. Eiss. Telephone number: (704) 283-5606

Tracy’s Adult Day Care is located at 3617 Andrew Jackson Drive, Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173. Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Coffey are the directors. Tracy’s has a capacity of 8 participants. (704) 843-2344

How Can Adult Day Care Benefit Your Family?

“Adult day care offers a win/win situation for everyone in the family—not only the client or member who attends the program, but also for the family member who has primary responsibility caregiver. Adult day care provides a much –needed respite for the caregiver, affording a break to the physical demands and stress of providing round-the-clock care.”

For the participant, adult day care’s benefits can be extensive:

  • A safe, secure environment in which to spend the day
  • Enjoyable and educational activities
  • Improvement in mental and physical health
  • Enhanced or maintained level of independence
  • Socialization and peer support
  • Nutritious meals and snacks

When Should Adult Day Care Services be considered?

The best time to start exploring what’s available is before the service is actually needed. According to ElderCare Online, a person should consider using adult day care when a senior:

  • Can no longer structure his or her own daily activities
  • Is isolated and desires companionship
  • Can’t be safely left along at home
  • Lives with someone who works outside the home or who is frequently away from home for other reasons

Adult Day Care Checklist

The adult day care center evaluation should include:

The physical environmnet
  • Is the atmosphere pleasant? Clean?
  • Is the center accessible for someone in a wheelchair?
  • Is the building secure?
The quality of personnel
  • Does the number of staff seem adequate for the number of participants?
  • Are personnel trained?
Activities and services
  • Is food appetizing? Can special diets be met?
  • Are ample snacks provided?
  • Do participants have a choice of activities?
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