Senior Day Care

7 Facts About Senior Day Care

While many seniors would like to age comfortably at home, it can be difficult when caregivers have careers, children, obligations, and hobbies. Senior day care can be the solution for elderly individuals who require supervision during the day. Seniors are able to spend time in a safe, socially stimulating environment, while caregivers lead their own lives. Trained professionals will monitor medications, provide meals, and often offer physical therapy.

Adult day care centers offer programs for seniors in a community-based, group setting. With research, and perhaps the help of a social worker, families can find a center that will cater to their loved one’s needs. Prior to choosing a center, consider seven facts about senior day care:

  1. There are different types of senior day care: The types of senior day care often overlap in practices, but are geared towards either a traditional model of socialization and activities, a medical model that also includes health care, and Alzheimer’s and dementia-oriented care. If the day care center is a licensed Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) facility, it will provide elements of health care and not just socialization or supervision. A senior day care that is not ADHC-licensed may not include services such as on-site social workers, medication administration, dressing of wounds, and more. Each state has different licensing boards and requirements, making it imperative to determine if a facility is properly licensed in a particular state.
  2. Senior day care is not solely for the handicapped or cognitively impaired: Elderly individuals who are handicapped, have other physical limitations, or who are cognitively impaired will receive the necessary care in a senior day care center. However, healthy seniors can gain benefits as well. When a senior is home alone all day, they may feel isolated and lonely. By having daily social interaction with other seniors, engaging in activities, and receiving mental stimulation, they can experience an improved quality of life. A full activity schedule, such as arts and crafts, musical entertainment, local outings, meals, board games, and light exercise, keeps seniors sharp and healthy.
  3. Senior day care is less expensive than other options: The cost of senior day care typically ranges from $40 to over $100 per day depending on the facility. Coverage aid is sometimes available through a state or federal program. In addition, families may be eligible for Dependent Care Tax Credits. A nursing home can cost more than $50,000 per year. Assisted living can range from $1,500 to more than $5,000 per month, while in-home assistance averages $19 per hour. Senior day care is a more affordable way to meet an elderly individual’s needs, while allowing them to remain at home.
  4. Senior day care offers flexibility: The majority of senior day care facilities have a variety of programs. Seniors can typically attend the program for a few hours or the entire day. Other centers can provide transitional care or short-term rehabilitation after discharge from the hospital. Some even offer weekend care. Most senior day care centers also feature door-to-door transportation for convenience.
  5. Senior day care can provide assistance with daily living skills: In addition to the socialization and medical aspects, senior day care can be a way for seniors to experience a sense of “normalcy” and dignity. Many facilities are equipped to help with bathing, brushing hair, dressing, going to the bathroom, walking, and eating. This allows seniors to maintain their hygiene and health without feeling as if they are burdening their caregivers. In many cases, the staff will teach the elderly how to modify their day-to-day routine to develop more independence at home.
  6. Senior day care can help with mental and emotional health: Aging can be stressful and mental health is often overlooked. Individuals can develop depression and anxiety due to health problems and lose a degree of their independence. Senior day care centers that follow a medical model have psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors on staff. Behavioral therapy, medication, or just someone willing to listen, can ease a senior’s worries and boost their mood. In addition, group therapy is a popular way for seniors to share with one another and realize that they’re not alone.
  7. Senior day care is beneficial to caregivers: Caring for an aging loved one is a challenging task. It’s essential for caregivers to take time to relax and rejuvenate themselves regularly. Senior day care affords caregivers a respite from the responsibilities associated with caregiving. It also provides peace of mind, because the senior is being well-taken care of and supervised in a safe setting. Taking a break from daily demands can improve the mental and emotional health of caregivers and also create a stronger relationship with the senior they are caring for.