Adult Day Health Care is also known as Senior Citizen Day Care, and is a licensed community-based day care program providing a variety of health, therapeutic, and social services to adults, especially seniors, those at risk of being placed in a nursing home. The primary objectives of the Adult Day Health Care program are to:
- Restore or maintain optimal capacity for self-care to frail elderly persons or adults with disabilities; and
- Delay or prevent inappropriate or personally undesirable institutionalization.
- The program stresses partnership with the participant, the family, the physician, and the community in working towards maintaining personal independence.
Each senior citizen day care center has a multidisciplinary team of health professionals who assist the activities of the elderly and tend to their needs. They conduct assessments of each potential participant to determine and plan the daily health care services needed to meet the individual’s specific health and social needs.
Senior citizen day care services provided at the center include: medical services; nursing and personal care services; physical, occupational and speech therapy; psychiatric and psychological services; social services; therapeutic activities; hot meal and nutritional counseling; and transportation to and from the center.
Here are some tips and guidelines to help you make the right decision when choosing a senior care facility for your aging loved one:
- Gather information about senior services and senior housing options in your area before the need actually arises. This will give you time to fully explore all the possibilities before making a decision.
- Determine what kind of senior care facilities are in your area. Doctors, friends and relatives, hospital social workers, and religious organizations may be able to help you identify specific facilities that’s right for your aging loved one.
- Make a list of questions you would like to ask the staff. Think about what is important to you, such as activity programs for seniors, transportation, or special units for people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, if applicable.
- Contact the senior places that interest you and make an appointment to visit. When you’re in the senior care facility, talk to the facility administrator, nursing staff, and residents to familiarize yourself with the care home.
- Observe the way the senior care facility runs and how residents are treated. You may want to drop by again unannounced to see if your impressions are the same.
- Find out what kinds of programs and services are offered to seniors/residents. Ask about staff training in dementia care, if needed, and check to see what the policy is about family participation in planning patient care.
- Check on room availability, cost and method of payment, and participation in Medicare or Medicaid for the senior care facilities that interest you. In might also, be wise to place your name on a waiting list even if you are not ready to make an immediate decision about long-term care.
Once you have made a decision, be sure you understand the terms of the contract and financial agreement for the senior care facility of your choice. You may want to have a lawyer review the documents with you before signing.
Moving to senior care facility is a big change for both you and your aging loved ones. It might be helpful to consult a social worker to help you plan for and adjust to the move. It is important to have support during this difficult transition.