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Caregiving 101: How to find an adult day program


 Adult Day Care

An Adult Day Care Program is often a very cost-effective way to provide care for someone during the day while also providing a break for the caregiver. Adult Day Care Programs offer a safe, supervised setting for participants to socialize with their peers and keep their minds and bodies stimulated.

Activities You Might See in an Adult Day Care Program

    * Exercise programs
    * Inter-generational activities
    * Pet visits
    * Mind stimulating activities
    * Musical entertainment
    * Sing-alongs
    * Cooking or baking
    * Gardening
    * Outings
    * Educational programs
    * Discussion groups
    * Crafts
    * Special event celebrations

Services You Might See in an Adult Day Care Program

    * Incontinence care
    * Showers
    * Assistance with ambulation
    * Assistance with toileting
    * Assistance with transfers
    * Medication administration
    * Meals
    * Special diet requests
    * Extended hours
    * Transportation
    * Weekend hours
    * Nursing services
    * General nursing assessment
    * Vital sign monitoring
    * Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, and Speech therapy

How do I find an Adult Day Care Program?

    * Look under Adult Day Care Programs or Senior Care in your local yellow pages
    * Call your local senior center
    * Call your local Area Agency on Aging (call 1-8... to find your local AAA)
    * Do an online search for “adult day care program YOUR CITY”

Are Adult Day Care Programs regulated?
Adult Day Care Programs are regulated by the Health and Human Services Division of each state. Regulations, certification, and licensure options vary by state. It is important to note that many states do not require licensure or certification, but instead offer it only to those programs that accept Medicaid funding. We recommend finding a adult day care program that has some oversight by a regulating body. To learn about the requirements for your state, Read the Toghers article here.

How do I choose an Adult Day Care Program?

Finding the best Adult Day Care Program for your care recipient usually involves some research. Depending on your location, you may have many to choose from or only one or two that are convenient. It is usually helpful to visit at least two programs to get a sense of the kinds of participants and staff each program has, and which environment would be the most comfortable for your care recipient.
You can download the Toghers Adult Day Care Program Checklist to guide you in this process.

Who pays for Adult Day Care Programs?

Three primary sources of payment are available for adult day care programs. Medicare does not currently pay for Adult Day Care services.

Private pay: Most people pay privately for adult day care program participation. Rates vary by program, with $60 a day as the average. Some programs may offer a sliding scale fee program or have scholarship funds for low-income participants.

Medicaid: Many states have a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver program that pays for Adult Day Care services. If your care recipient has already qualified for Medicaid, check with the case manager to see if your state covers adult day care services. If you are not sure if your care recipient qualifies for Medicaid, see the Toghers Resources section for additional information on Medicaid.

Long Term care insurance: Many long term care policies cover adult day care programs. Check with your policy administrator to see if this is a covered benefit. If it is not listed as a covered benefit, some policies will still consider coverage of adult day services instead of home care. Adult Day Care Programs are often half the cost of one-on-one home care and can preserve your benefit dollars.

If it is a covered benefit, check with your plan administrator to find out what requirements exist for the Adult Day Care Program. Check with the Adult Day Care Programs you are considering to be sure that they meet the criteria required by the policy. Often they will require that the agency be licensed or certified and that the agency send copies of doctors orders, plans of care, and any other pertinent documents periodically. Most Adult Day Care Programs can easily accommodate these requests.

How do I introduce the idea of an Adult Day Care Program to my care recipient?
Sometimes it takes some creativity to convince your care recipient to try an adult day care program. This will vary greatly depending on the cognitive level of the participant. Here are some ways to present the day care program:

    * We are going to the Senior Center for lunch and (whatever activity is going on that day)
    * I signed you up for a new club so you can visit with someone other than me
    * I need to go to work and I worry about you when you are home alone
    * There’s this great group of people who get together a few times a week to visit
    * I need to run some errands and this will be more fun for you than having to run all over town with me
    * The doctor said you need to get out of the house more
    * They need volunteers and you would be really good at that
    * I need to know you are safe
    * I want you to have something to do during the day

However you decide to introduce the idea, engage the Adult Day Care Program Director in your decision. She may have some ideas of things that have worked in their program, and the program staff will want to be consistent, for example having volunteer tasks for the participant to do if this is the way you have introduced the idea.

Copyright © 2008 by Toghers