Over half of senior caregivers report that they feel increased stress and burden because of their caregiving duties to the degree that it affects their own health and well-being. Adult day care centers are designed to give senior caregivers a break so that they can go to work, handle their own personal business, spend time with other family members, or to have time to relax and do things they enjoy.
While adult day care and respite programs are designed for caregivers, they also provide a valuable service for aging seniors. The programs enrich the lives of seniors who need safe care, companionship, and supervision. Day programs offer alternative care options that enhance the seniors’ self-esteem and encourage socialization.
Families who supplement personal caregiving with adult day and respite programs may be able to delay or prevent nursing care later on.
On the surface, it may seem like all adult day care programs are alike. It’s important for adult caregivers to know that there are two types of adult day care. One type of program offers adult social programs and the other offers adult day health care. Due to the need for both kinds of care, many programs are now combining programs to fill the need for senior health care and socialization.
Adult social day programs provide social activities such as music, art, crafts, exercise, dance, yoga, and brain stimulation activities. They also generally provide meals and some basic health-related services. Adult day health care programs will usually have qualified nurses and other medical staff available to provide more intensive health, therapeutic, and social services for aging adults with medical problems or problems associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Adult day health programs may include counseling, education, evening care, health screening, medical care, physical therapy, medication management, transportation, and supervision.
Many programs provide health care and socialization activities, so it’s vital that caregivers ask plenty of questions so they know that the program meets the needs of the senior.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services licenses adult day care centers throughout the state. The National Adult Day Services Association offers a helpful guide to choosing a qualified adult day program. Knoxville has four licensed adult day care centers:
Cades-Concord Adult Day Enrichment Services 11020 Roane Dr. Knoxville, TN 37934 (865) 675-2835
Howard Circle of Friends 1807 Dandridge Ave. Knoxville, TN 37915 (865) 524-9457
Kay Senior Center 900 Henley St. Knoxville, TN 37902 (865) 521-0289
O’Connor Daily Living Center 3900 Probus Rd. Knoxville, TN 37918 (865) 689-8412
Caregivers should know that Medicare will not pay for adult day care or respite programs. Costs can range from $25 to $100 per day, depending upon the type of services offered. Many families private pay and some facilities have sliding scale fees based upon income. Other sources of possible funding include Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, and the Veterans Administration.
Most caregivers find that the cost of an adult day care program is well worth the investment in their own health and well-being, even if when it’s only for a day or two per week.
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