How to find adult day care
Dear Savvy Senior,
What can you tell me about adult day care for seniors? My 82-year-old father, who lives with us, has dementia and needs attention during the day while we’re at work.
Looking for Care
Adult day care is a great and affordable option for caregivers who work, or those who just need a break during the day. Here’s what you should know.
A growing trend
The business of adult day care has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. Just 30 years ago, there were only around 300 adult day care centers in the U.S. Today there are around 4,600 that serve an estimated 260,000 people.
As the name implies, “adult day care” provides care for elderly seniors who cannot care for themselves at home. While services will vary from center to center, they typically provide custodial care, meals, various activities and social interaction in a safe supportive environment. Additionally, many centers also provide health services such as medication management, various therapies, exercise and more. Adult day-care centers generally operate programs during normal business hours five days a week, although some centers may offer services in the evenings and on weekends, too.
Depending on where you live and the center you choose, adult day care costs anywhere from $25 to $150 per day (the national average is $67/day), which is more affordable than hiring a home health aide which averages $21 per hour nationally or $168 for an eight-hour day. Unfortunately, Medicare does not currently pay for adult day care so your financial assistance options are either private long-term care insurance, or some states offer Medicaid waiver programs.
How to choose
Your first step in shopping for an adult day center is to determine the kinds of services your father and you need, and can afford. After you do that, here are some tips to help you locate and choose a good provider:
•Finding a center: Start with your Area Agency on Aging (call 800-677-1116 to get your local number), or local Alzheimer support groups (visit alz.org to search) for referrals. Or check your Yellow Pages under Adult Day Care or Seniors Services.
•Call: Once you have a list of a few centers, call them to find out their eligibility criteria, if they are accepting new clients, their hours of operation, if they’re licensed and/or registered with a state agency (this is not required in all states), what they charge, and the types of services they provide.
•Visit: After you find a few centers that can meet your father’s needs and budget, go in for a visit. Find out about the staffing ratio (at least one staff member for every six participants is recommended) and what kind of training they have. While you’re there, notice the cleanliness and smell of the facility. Is it homey and inviting? Does the staff seem friendly and knowledgeable? Also be sure to taste the food, and consider making an unannounced visit.
•Ask about transportation: Does the center provide transportation to and from the facility, or is transportation available through other sources, such as a local agency on aging.
•Inquire about discounts: Many centers also offer discounts if you prepay and register for multiple days per week.
•Ask for references: Talk to two or three families who have used the center you are considering.
Savvy Tip: The National Adult Day Services Association provides additional information on their website (nadsa.org) including links to state associations, a national database of adult day centers, and a seven-step guide to help you choose a day care provider.
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior book. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit http://SavvySenior.org .
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Apple Pie readers help Julia fill in the blanks (September 21, 2016)
Cheap cell phone plans for seniors (September 21, 2016)
Come And Take It starts Sept. 30 (September 21, 2016)
Disc water pitcher (September 21, 2016)
DRT chapter plans meeting, new member class (September 21, 2016)
Get ready to grill at show barn’s barbecue cook-off (September 21, 2016)
Old Town Day seeks vendors (September 21, 2016)
Poth VFD to serve up barbecued chicken (September 21, 2016)
Run and shine at Neon Sizzle 5K (September 21, 2016)
Spots open for Community Yard Sale (September 21, 2016)
St. Mary’s Fall Festival Sept. 25 (September 21, 2016)
Support FUMC youth at barbecue ‘fun’ raiser (September 21, 2016)
Teen MOPS plans upcoming meetings (September 21, 2016)
The root of many evils (September 21, 2016)
Uncovering local legends: The grave in the middle of the road (September 21, 2016)
URBAN-15 seeks dancers, drummers (September 21, 2016)
Chicago Cub yearbooks (September 14, 2016)
Enjoy Country Music Show Sept. 20 (September 14, 2016)
How to prevent falls at home (September 14, 2016)
Krawietz family reunion (September 14, 2016)
La Vernia EMS plans Car Show (September 14, 2016)
Labatt Club donates to library, children (September 14, 2016)
Low voices and high hopes (September 14, 2016)
Lutheran Church plans Sausage Dinner (September 14, 2016)
Medicaid covers mosquito repellent to fight Zika (September 14, 2016)
Metting family plans reunion (September 14, 2016)
Non-prescription drugs — the forgotten solution to rising health-care costs (September 14, 2016)
Relay For Life meeting is Sept. 15 (September 14, 2016)
Seguin Cowboy Gathering is Sept. 17 (September 14, 2016)
Smith Gas celebrates 88 years in business (September 14, 2016)
The life of Doris Billimek Moczygemba (September 14, 2016)
Trail ride donations surpass $1M (September 14, 2016)
Visit Remembering Our Fallen exhibit in Seguin (September 14, 2016)
Who will take care of you? (September 14, 2016)
A life shaped by hard work and hunting (September 7, 2016)
After-Dinner Chocolates (September 7, 2016)
Cajun music Sept. 10 (September 7, 2016)
Donate hearing aids, glasses, equipment (September 7, 2016)
Earn a certification in native landscaping (September 7, 2016)
Enjoy EquestFest 2016 (September 7, 2016)
Getting Engaged? How to spend wisely (September 7, 2016)
Mystery box (September 7, 2016)
Nominate a nonprofit for Literacy Award (September 7, 2016)
Old medicine chest dates back to 1821 (September 7, 2016)
Professional bull riding returns to Fredericksburg (September 7, 2016)
Register to run for tacos Oct. 1 (September 7, 2016)
Road Runners plan September outings (September 7, 2016)
Still time to buy tickets for Wild Game Dinner (September 7, 2016)
Take a tour of SS museum Sept. 17 (September 7, 2016)
Take the H-E-B Slim Down challenge (September 7, 2016)
Vote for top flick at Manhattan Short Film Festival (September 7, 2016)
Welcome to The Greenline, a 43-acre linear park (September 7, 2016)
‘Cupping’ long before Phelps did it (September 7, 2016)