You may have already taken many steps to make the house you live in safer—things like installing a walk in bathtub, adding grab bars in the bathroom, and raising the toilet seat. But you may be asking yourself whether you should spend your day at an adult day care center or not. The answers to the following questions may help you.
Q. Are all adult day care centers alike?
A. No. Most adult day care centers specialize in different areas of senior needs. While almost all facilities provide enjoyable and educational activities as part of their care package, different facilities focus on different needs. For example, some adult day care centers focus on social needs. They may provide minimal physical assistance. Other day care centers focus on meeting the needs of physically challenged seniors, providing therapy and treatments to enhance regaining or maintaining functionality. Some adult day care programs are primarily developed to work with seniors affected by some form of dementia, such as Alzheimers. Occasionally, you will find an adult day care center that provides services in all three areas.
Q. How do I screen an adult day care center so I know that it is a good place to be?
A. First, do some background research. Find out who owns or sponsors the facility. Some care centers are state funded. Others are not-for-profits supported by church groups. And others are privately funded. Do a search on the internet that includes terms like “complaints about …” using the name of the facility. While a search that comes up empty isn’t a guarantee there aren’t problems, a search that does turn up something is a red flag.
Another thing to check into is the length of time the adult day care center has operated. While a new branch owned by an established organization that is known in the adult day care industry is probably fine, a new facility with no experience could be risky. At the same time, if the people who have opened the day care center have credentials and training, new can be a good thing. You’ll be dealing with energetic and enthusiastic care givers.
It is also a good idea to visit an adult day care center unannounced. See how your are treated. If your are treated rudely, you know that this won’t be a good place. You can get a feel for a place by just watching what’s going on for a little while. You’ll see how staff interact with each other and with the seniors.
Q. Should I expect meals to be provided?
A. Each adult day care center is different. Be sure to ask so you can plan ahead.
Q. Do I have to provide my own transportation to and from adult day care?
A. You will have to ask. Many counties offer “Dial-a-Ride” programs which seniors can use to get to and from their adult day care sessions. Some adult day care centers may have their own pick-up and drop-off service.