Adult day services can help relieve some of the stress, anxiety or exhaustion associated with caregiving. Not only will you get a break from looking after your loved one, but you will have predictable hours when you can work, attend to personal needs or run errands. Additionally, if your loved is able to get out of the house they may feel happier overall, making it easier for you to provide care when they are home.
Retirement can be a curse for elderly adults who no longer have a concrete reason to leave the house. As days bleed together and the weeks march on, it’s easy to fall into a rut, staying up until the wee hours and sleeping in past noon, which may lead to everything from poor nutrition to depression to increased risk of dementia. Daily or even weekly trips to adult day care can anchor a new routine, giving your loved one a reason to get up, get dressed and get moving.
Thanks to Medicare, most elderly Americans receive some level of health care once they reach 65, but availability doesn’t always mean it’s easy for them to follow up on health care, especially if they have mobility issues or multiple medical issues. In cases like this, an adult day program that offers health care services can make it easier for seniors to take care a plethora of health issues.
An adult day care program, especially one tailored to people with dementia, can make a world of difference to someone who is cognitively impaired. These tailored services are typically available to people with dementia who:
- Live in their own homes or with a caregiver
- Don’t require constant one-on-one assistance
- Have some mobility (most programs allow a self-propelled wheelchair)
- Are not physically or verbally abusive
Adult day care is especially useful when people are in the early stage of Alzheimer’s and still have good social skills. Medical evidence supports that early stimulation of the type provided by adult day centers can slow cognitive decline. Adult Day Care can also help if your loved has moderate Alzheimer’s disease, when the strain of caregiving becomes greater and burnout is a strong ris If you are hesitant about enrolling your loved one in a dementia day programs, consider registering them for a few sessions to see how it goes. Start small, with just a few hours per day or week, rather than diving into full-time day care. If the transition proves difficult, talk to your loved one about their concerns. You and/or the director may be able to overcome specific objections. If the problems don’t resolve after several weeks, look for a different program or check out an in-home care or companion service.
One of the best features of licensed adult day care is its low price tag–the national median cost is $75 per day – or approx $1560 per month compared to other much more expensive care alternatives. If cost is still a concern, explore whether your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy that includes home care benefits which could be spent on adult day care. In addition, check out whether your loved one qualifies for any of the below programs.
If your loved one is a veteran who qualifies for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical benefits and needs long-term care, they may be entitled to free services at VA-run or a (VA Contracted) adult day care centers. Low-income vets or surviving spouses of veterans may qualify for some other monthly cash benefits, which can be used for any type of care, including adult day care.
The Medicaid program in your state might pay for some adult day services if your loved one has a very low income and few assets, other than the home they live in. In some states, Medicaid partners offer payment via Medicaid Waiver Program.
The Waiver programs provides comprehensive in-home and community care, including adult day care, for frail elders who would otherwise require nursing home care. It may be available only to those people with low income and few assets, usually those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
If your loved one is enrolled in a Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan rather than in a traditional Medicare Part A and Part B, it might offer limited adult day care coverage as part of its home care services. The extent of adult day care coverage depends entirely on the plan itself. To learn whether your loved one’s plan covers adult day care and, if so, under what terms, contact the plan directly. Note that neither Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B covers adult day care services. Part B does, however, covers Physical Therapy and other rehab therapy within our center while the client attends the center.
Important:In order for any type of Medicare plan to provide coverage, the care must meet two basic requirements: it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider—and Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) must agree that the care is necessary and proper. As well, the care must be performed or delivered by a healthcare provider who participates in Medicare.
Before enrolling your loved in adult day care, it’s prudent to first look at other care options, like the following:
With in-home care (or homecare), a personal care assistant comes to the home to help with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, feeding, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation and medication reminders. For those who require a higher level of care as deemed necessary by a doctor, home healthcare nurses, physical therapists or trained health aides can provide skilled medical care in the home- but only for a short time. With Adult Day Care those services are included as part of the daily rate. Both serves will allow your loved one to remain at home.
With homecare however the costs can add up if they require a lot of care–caregivers can be hired for a few hours per week or 24/7, or anything in between. Unlike adult daycare centers, in-home care does not provide programmed group activities or the opportunity to socialize outside the home. That said, depending upon circumstances a combination of Adult Day and homecare is possible consideration.
Assisted living is a residential senior care option designed for elders who need some supervision and help with the activities of daily living such as meal preparation, housekeeping and bathing. In this arrangement, seniors usually live in a private or semi-private suite within a complex. The price usually includes three meals per day, which are eaten in a communal dining area; common spaces for socializing; organized recreational and cultural activities and transportation services.
Many communities also feature on-site amenities like gyms, swimming pools, beauty salons, pharmacies and computers as well. Like some adult day care programs, many assisted living communities offer specialized dementia care, often referred to as memory care.
For many, the chief benefit of assisted living is the social aspect. In such a setting, your loved one would live, eat and play in a community, meaning they would have ample opportunity to socialize with others. As well, assisted living communities sometimes provide social events or activities on evenings or weekends, in contrast to adult day programs, which usually run Monday to Friday (Some Communities are open on Saturdays) in the daytime (8-5:30).
Assisted living also gives caretakers more of a break than adult day care, as staff can provide round-the-clock with help with the daily activities of living. On the minus side, assisted living comes with a much higher price tag than adult day care. Your loved one might also resist senior living as it will mean moving to an unfamiliar environment and, in some cases, giving up a much-loved house and neighborhood friends.
Skilled nursing care in a nursing home is the most expensive of all options and the one that offers the most medical support. Although it is few people’s first choice, a nursing home may be the most viable option for someone in the final stage of a disease or a person has significant physical/cognitive limitations. If the idea of providing 24/7 care is overwhelming, a nursing home may be what your loved one really needs. Comparing Adult Day Care Costs and Other Types of Senior Care.
When it comes to cost, adult day care is FAR Less Cost than other care alternatives. According to the Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care survey, the monthly national median cost for the various options is as follows:
|Type of Senior Care||Average Monthly Cost|
|Skilled Nursing Facility||$7,441 to $8,365 ($418 daily)|
|Assisted Living||$5,500 ($270 daily)|
|In-home Care||$4,004 to $4,595($230 daily)|
|Adult Day Care||$600 - $1,560 ($80 daily)|
Although the 4,600 adult day programs in the U.S. may be part of stand-alone adult centers specifically set up to provide day care to seniors. Programs run from several hours to a full day. Participants may attend daily, a few times a week, weekly, or just for special activities. Weekend and evening care are less common, although this is changing as demand for adult day care rises.
You can start your search for adult day services by entering Adult Day Care and your zip code — don’t forget ask for references. To find the best fit for your loved one, contact and tour the providers in your area that interest you, taking along a copy of National Adult Day Services Association NADSA’s site checklist.