Adult day care is a fairly new concept for caregivers. The basic idea is to provide a secure place where seniors can enjoy social activities during the day and nursing care as needed. It’s a hybrid model of eldercare that prioritizes community. At the same time, seniors get help with common custodial tasks such as taking medication or having meals.
Unlike nursing homes or assisted living, it’s not 24/7. Seniors can still live independently or with family. This daytime-only care is also cost-effective and a great option for families who want to prevent loneliness and decline in their elderly loved ones.
Adult day care (also known as community care) is a care option that provides recreational and medical services during daytime hours. Like child day care, it runs from Monday-Friday so that caregivers have a respite to work or take a break.
This care can be categorized into three different types. Each has its own focus, depending on the needs of the adults.
The social and recreational aspects of this care can’t be overestimated. Here are some typical features and activities:
Medical care is also vital for many attendees. Some common nursing tasks performed may include:
In addition, some of these centers have customized care plan, such as:
Adult daycare is an enriching and cost-effective care option to boost an adult’s social life during daytime hours. It also provides nursing supervision as needed. Benefits of these centers include:
The profile for adult day care is slightly different from nursing home or assisted living care. Your elderly loved one may enjoy it if he/she:
Adult day care is distinct from other care options. First and foremost, it’s not 24/7 like assisted living. This makes it a great option for seniors who want to maintain a level of independence and live at home. For this same reason, it isn’t right for those with serious medical conditions.
Those who live in assisted living need constant custodial care such as toileting and feeding. They may not be able to live alone or with family because of an inability to take care of daily tasks. On the other hand, adult day care is catered towards adults who have the basics down but could use some nursing supervision during the day or social interaction to prevent loneliness at home.
Seniors who go to adult day care generally love it. It’s the perfect balance between living independently or with family and having activities to do during the day. Many find lasting friendships and a sense of purpose by attending a community center. When family members go to work or school, seniors have their own space and activities to enjoy.
This care is also great for family relationships, as caregivers don’t feel overburdened by 24/7 care. Instead, they can focus on nights and weekends to create meaningful moments.
Like all nursing care during the pandemic, it’s important to understand COVID protocols. Because adult day care isn’t 24/7, there may be requirements to use a face mask or maintain social distancing. You should contact your center to get a better sense of how they’re protecting seniors during care hours.
According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the national average cost of adult day care is $64/day. This cost varies greatly depending on your location, facility, level of services and insurance reimbursement. Generally speaking, the final cost ranges between $25-$100/day.
This is by far one of the most affordable care options for the elderly. While nursing home or assisted living can cost up to $5,000/month, adult day care is much more cost-effective. Often, these centers have several payment options, including paying per hour if you use less than a full day.
You have a few options to pay for adult day care. While Medicare doesn’t typically cover this type of care, you may be eligible for programs such as PACE and Medicaid. Your private insurance may also cover costs.
You may also be able to pay for adult day care in other ways, such as:
As always, you should check your eligibility and coverage. Contact your providers to find how you can leverage these alternatives to help pay for it.
Adult day care may be the perfect choice for your family. If your elderly loved one is at risk of becoming lonely or needs some extra supervision during the day, this may be the right option. For adults who like to keep their independence or live with family, this is a good compromise between staying active and feeling comfortable at home.
My Caring Plan has a large directory of adult day care centers across the country. Our website is full of top resources for elder care in the U.S. You’ll also find resources related to senior housing, insurance and other relevant topics.
Finally, you should visit adult day care centers to get a feel for what they’re like. You might be surprised by the upbeat feel and community you witness firsthand.