Adult day care helps caregivers cope
According to the Caregiver Action Network, two out of every five adults are family caregivers. And many caregivers are juggling full-time jobs, plus anxiety about their aging parents.
Long-term, full-time care can be a costly, and may not be the right option for your loved one right now.
Thankfully, there is another option: Adult day care. We think of “day care” as being reserved for children, but adult day care can be tremendously helpful in easing the burden of caregivers who work during the day.
What is adult day care?
Adult day care allows seniors to spend the day in a specialized facility receiving medical services and participating in social activities.
According to the Administration on Aging, “Adult day care is designed to provide care and companionship for seniors who need assistance or supervision during the day.”
Meanwhile, caregivers can go to work, run errands or take a much-needed respite, “The goals of the programs are to delay or prevent institutionalization by providing alternative care, to enhance self-esteem and to encourage socialization,” describes the Administration on Aging.
How do I know if adult day care is right for my loved one?
According to Peg Schuetz, Advocate Condell Medical Center’s Adult Day Center manager in Libertyville, Ill., “If you are nervous or hesitant going to work, running errands or leaving your loved one alone for an extended period of time, this is the first sign that adult day care could be needed. Scheutz says other signs include:
- If you find strange placements of food or objects when you return. This can be a sign of dementia.
- If your loved one doesn’t eat meals even when you prepare and leave them.
- If your loved one cannot take medications as directed without your close supervision.
- If an older adult is at great risk of fall injuries because of mobility challenges.
In addition to taking care of these basic needs, there are social benefits to an adult day care.
“Adults with early to mid-stage dementia or medical frailty would benefit from activity, social interaction, and respectful supervision, as needed,” Schuetz says. “Our Adult Day Center focuses on purposeful activities and socialization to combat feelings of loneliness. We even plan activities with the adjacent Child Day Care program to help enhance our older adults’ interaction and engagement.”
Click here to watch a brief video featuring Peg Schuetz discussing what you need to know about adult day care.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.