Adult Day Care is an option for caregivers. This providers older adults an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize with others. This also allows the caregiver a chance to get out and have a break.
Adult Day Care is for older adults who can no longer manage on their own or who are isolated. They can socialize with others and receive needed care services.
Adult day care centers provide professional and compassionate services for senior adults and adults with disabilities in a community-based group setting. Services provided by these centers include meal and snack, social activities, and limited health services to adults who need supervised care in a safe place outside the home during the day. Adult day centers provide respite from the demanding responsibilities of being a caregiver. However, when an individual is enrolled in an adult day program the family retains primary care of their loved one.
Adult day care centers are a growing source of long-term care. Since 2002, nationwide there has been a 35% increase in the number of centers and a 63% increase in the number of participants and family caregivers using these centers.
If an adult day program has five or more participants they must be licensed and inspected by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The Department defines adult day care as the continuous care and supervision of senior or disabled adults in a licensed adult day care setting for up to 10 hours per day. Services include assistance with activities of daily living, planned activities, meals and snacks, skilled nursing care when needed, and transportation. Group activities are designed to stimulate the individual and ensure the individual maintains a maximum level of independence and function. The provider must arrange or provide transportation to the adult day care facility at no cost to the participant.
The most common adult day program is the medical model where a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse administers medications and oversees the health care of the participants, a dietician or nurse supervises meals and snacks, and therapies need to be available if ordered by a doctor. The medical model also offers social activities. The social model adult day program focuses on socialization and caregiver respite. In 2014 there were only two social models in Missouri of the more than 100 licensed adult day programs.
The two main sources of payment for adult day fees are Medicaid and private pay. Long-term care insurance will also pay for adult day care, as does the Veterans Administration in some cases. Local Alzheimer’s Association and other organizations may have respite funds for caregivers who can use these funds for their family member to attend an adult day program. Medicaid views adult day services as a better alternative to nursing home care. An article by the National Care Planning Council states Medicare is currently conducting a study to determine whether adult day care can be a viable alternative to home care in certain settings. The study’s results may make it possible for Medicare to become a principle source of funding for adult day services. Medicaid reimbursement rates are $2.26 per quarter hour for up to ten hours five days a week.
Adult day care is a valuable service. The St. Louis area is home to nearly sixty percent (60%) of Missouri’s licensed centers. The entire outstate area has only twenty-six (26) centers. Kansas City has nearly twenty (20) and Springfield is home to three (3) centers. Adult day care centers provide a dependable source of support, much needed help in times of crisis, and improve the quality of life for caregivers.
Before agreeing to send your loved one to an Adult Day Care, visit the facility. Talk to the Administrator, talk to the Activity Director, the program assistants who aid with personal care. See what activities are available. Determine if they can handle the needs of your loved one. Ask for references. Talk to some of the individuals to see what they think of being there. Talk to caregivers who are bringing their loved ones to the facility. Ask to see their last inspection. Check for sprinklers, ask what their evacuation procedures are in case of fire. Ask what their plans are in case of severe weather.
Once you agree to place them, visit to see how things are going. If you schedule your loved one to be there from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. show up at 10 to see how things are going. Check on them.