About Adult Day Care
Adult day care services have been around for about 30 years. A survey completed in 2001 put the number of adult day care centers at 3,493 nationwide. The survey by Partners In Caregiving also indicated that at least twice as many centers are needed as are currently available. The National Adult Day Services Association estimates current numbers of adult day care providers at around 4,000.
Adult day services offer an ideal alternative to caregivers by providing a daytime care environment outside of the home. Here is a program where a loved one could be nurtured, stimulated and provided medical care and at the same time provide a welcome relief for the caregiver.
It is baffling that such a valuable service goes largely underused by the public. Six hours a day of adult day services is only about 20% of the cost of bringing someone into the home to provide services for the same number of hours. And having a loved one in a protected and stimulating environment can afford necessary rest to overloaded caregivers. Most adult day services will also offer a van service to pick up and drop off loved ones at the house. In addition, most services that have nurses and social workers on staff can provide necessary aid to those care recipients in need of medical and emotional attention.
Adult day centers have had a difficult time surviving because of public apathy. In many areas the services would be used but they are simply not available to families. Beginning next year Medicare may start paying for adult day care services in lieu of home health services. This will greatly expand the availability of this valuable service.