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Choosing Quality Adult Day Centers

Adult day services are community-based group programs designed to provide social and some health services to adults who need supervised care in a safe place during the day. They also afford caregivers respite from the demanding responsibilities of caregiving. Adult day centers generally operate during normal business hours five days a week. Some programs offer services in the evenings and on weekends. Although each facility may differ in terms of features, these general services are offered by most adult day centers:

Social activities—interaction with other participants in planned activities appropriate for their conditions

Transportation—door-to-door service

Meals and snacks—participants are provided with meals and snacks; those with special dietary needs are offered special meals

Personal care—help with toileting, grooming, eating and other personal activities of daily living

Therapeutic activities—exercise and mental interaction for all participants.

In general, there are three types of adult day centers: social (which provides meals, recreation and some health-related services), medical/health (which provides social activities as well as more intensive health and therapeutic services) and specialized (which provide services only to specific care recipients, such as those with diagnosed dementias or developmental disabilities.

Selecting Quality Providers
This overview will help you in your search for quality, community Adult Day Services. You may wish to take a copy of it with you when you interview potential providers.
Adult Day Centers provide a planned program that includes a variety of health, social, and support services in a protective setting during daytime hours. This is a community-based service designed to meet the individual needs of functionally and/or cognitively impaired adults.

STEP #1 - Determine your needs
What specific services are important to the older person?

STEP #2 - Find adult day centers
Identify services in your area. For names and phone numbers of adult day centers, try:

STEP #3 - Call first!
Call adult day centers and ask for a flier or brochure, eligibility criteria, a monthly activity calendar, a monthly menu and application procedures.

STEP #4 - Know what to ask
Look for the following information in the material received.

STEP #5 - Pay a visit
After reviewing materials, make an appointment to visit two or more centers that might meet your needs. The following list will help you decide which day center is the right one for you.

SITE VISIT CHECKLIST

STEP #6 - Check references
Talk to two or three people who have used the center you are considering. Ask for their opinion.

STEP #7 - Try it out
Select a day center. Try it for three to five days. It sometimes takes several visits for new participants to feel comfortable in a new setting and with a new routine. If you have questions or are experiencing any problems, ask for a conference. Staff may have suggestions to make the transition easier both at home and at the day center.

STEP #8 - Take care of yourself
Relax. Your loved one is being well cared for. Remember, your loved one may not be able to recall all the activities enjoyed during the day. The staff will gladly provide the missing details. The day center staff is there for you, too. Ask for:


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Boomers Resource Guide is a special supplement to the Senior Citizen's Guide