Adult Day Care provides comfort, support, care, companionship and counseling for elderly or Alzheimer’s patients who require supervision during daytime hours. It offers patients the opportunity to socialize and to receive health and social services in a stimulating and supportive environment.
When you have chosen your Day Care, make sure that their license is current and do not hesitate to ask questions. Among others,
· Ask to see results of their state inspections and if there were any deficiencies, ask if they have been corrected.
· Observe if the patients are involved in activities.
· Does the staff encourage the participants to be as independent as possible?
· Ask about the staff to client ratio. For Alzheimer’s patients, the ratio should be at least one staff member for every eight patients.
· Meet the director and the staff.
· Is there a lot of staff turnover?
· What are the emergency procedures?
· Do they serve meals and how are they prepared? Do they offer food for patients of special dietary needs?
· Is there a secure outdoor area sufficient for walking and spending time outside? It can be vital for an Alzheimer’s patient to spend time outdoors in order to have a good quality of life.
· What are the hours of operation?
· How do they handle participants who wander?
· How often must the participant attend and for how long?
· How involved can I be as a family member?
Find out what the requirements for admission are. These may include a health history and a physical may be necessary with a current (within the last year) TB test or chest x-ray. Take time to sit with the director or staff and go through all the processes prior to attending the day care.
Of course, taking care of a loved one with Alzeimer’s can be very stressful and you may find yourself tired. Sometimes you need time away from your loved one to rejuvenate yourself. This will require making arrangements, which is where Adult Day Care comes in. This time off will allow you to invest some of your energy in your other relationships, to rest and recharge your physical and emotional batteries in order to maintain sanity and quality care for your loved one. Do the things you used to do before your loved one became ill. Have fun and enjoy yourself.
Your loved one will be in good hands and will get involved with other persons with Alzheimer’s. They will be given the care they deserve and will enjoy a facility that caters to their needs and interests. You will find that your loved one looks forward to the day care to have fun, make friends (to the extent they are able), and will return home at the end of the day more relaxed.
Adult Day care may also help ease the way if one day you have to put your loved one in a nursing home. Some daycare centers are affiliated with nursing homes. The combination sometimes makes the transition into nursing home care much easier.
So, take time for yourself. You deserve it, and your loved one will notice your changes as well.