There are several avenues of caregiving for seniors who are unable to perform their everyday tasks on their own because of Alzheimer’s and the resulting Dementia. They might have family caregivers, hired caregivers or spend time in senior Daycare. So what is senior Daycare and the role it plays?
SENIOR DAY CARE EXPLAINED
The concept of senior Daycare is really not that much different from daycare for kids. It’s basically a stop-gap measure for those times when a family or hired caregivers are not available to look after the senior on a given day.
Normally, these types of facilities will provide a planned program of different activities that are specifically designed for senior adults. These programs take place in a professional setting and are specifically for those who need to be supervised during the day.
These are not normally 24/7 operations and like most daycares are only available during the daytime hours, Monday to Friday. However, there are a few exceptions that offer some evening and weekend care.
It’s a great opportunity for seniors to socialize with other seniors. In most cases, there is also a host of health services available in the event a senior has issues that need to be addressed throughout the day.
If you are a caregiver and in need of advice or support, be sure to check out Caring.com.
Every Daycare is different. Some offer a higher level of care than others. For example, one type of adult Daycare might focus mainly on recreational and social programs. At the same time, they might only offer limited health care services.
Other facilities may focus more on offering a high level of medical services. These might include physical or speech therapy with the guidance of registered nurses or others experienced in professional health care.
There is also a third option. Some adult Daycares might specialize in seniors with Dementia or other health issues.
ADVANTAGES OF SENIOR DAYCARE
There are several advantages that senior Daycare has to offer.
- Change of Venue: It’s an opportunity for seniors to get out of the house. Many seniors are not able to go out and about on their own and spend the majority of their time inside the same four walls. Senior Daycare is an opportunity to experience a different setting.
- Loneliness: Many seniors are lonely and crave to be around others. A single caregiver is not usually enough to fill this need. Senior Daycare is an excellent way to mingle with others and ease the depression that comes with being lonely.
- Broaden Horizons: A senior can learn new skills and have unique experiences at Daycare. Perhaps they will take part in arts and crafts. Often there are musical performances and other types of entertainment.
- Exercise: Most seniors will not exercise if left to their own devices. At a daycare facility they are encouraged to take part in gentle stretching or a variety of exercises.
- Discussions: Seniors are encouraged to socialize with others and become involved with discussion groups. Maybe they will talk about movies or books.
- Excellent Nutrition: Many seniors don’t pay attention to proper nutrition. Most Day care centers will provide nutritious meals and provide for unique dietary requirements.
- Personal Care: It’s very common for seniors to either ignore or forget about personal grooming. Adult daycare centers will help seniors with daily living activities that might include hygiene and grooming.
- Transportation: Some Daycare centers might drive a senior to and from the daycare facility and also provide transportation for any planned outings.
ADVANTAGES FOR CAREGIVERS
- Caregiver Respite: Caregivers need a break too. A senior daycare facility is a great option if a caregiver needs a break or perhaps wants to take a caregiver much-needed vacation. Being a caregiver can be very demanding.
- Temporary Assistance: Some caregivers are also very busy with their own personal lives and often find themselves living life on two fronts. At times there are other commitments that make it impossible to look after the senior. Adult Daycare is an excellent option.
- Emotional, Physical, or Mental Break: At times it can become very overwhelming for caregivers and they simply need time to themselves to rest and recover. A break of a few days can leave them emotionally or mentally refreshed.
- Caregiver Support: There are even some adult Daycare centers that offer support for caregivers. This might include caregiver education, counseling, or support groups to talk about the issues they are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.
- Peace of Mind: It can be very trying emotionally for a caregiver to leave a senior on their own. Adult Daycare will give them peace of mind. They know the senior is being well looked after.
Here are some excellent books for Caregivers.
The 36-Hour Day– A family guide to caring for people who have Alzheimer’s Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss.
Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey– A Guide for Families and Caregivers, Fifth Edition, Revised and Expanded
WHEN IS ADULT DAY CARE THE BEST CHOICE
- Structure: Some seniors live on their own without a caregiver. A Daycare center will help them maintain some structure in their lives when they begin to lose the ability to do it on their own.
- Isolation: If a senior is an isolated day after day it can be very lonely and demoralizing. Under these circumstances, adult Daycare is an excellent option.
- Cognitively Challenged: Some seniors have some limitations physically or mentally but do not require 24/7 assistance. Daycare is an excellent choice for seniors who require intermittent care.
- Alzheimer’s: If a senior is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s adult Daycare might be the perfect option. Medical professionals can educate them on how to deal with day-to-day life.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DAYCARE
So how does one go about choosing the right daycare? First of all, every senior is unique and is dealing with a specific set of needs.
If a senior has a caregiver, it’s important that they are both involved in the decision. It’s important to do the proper research on senior Daycare you might be interested in. For instance, how long have they been in business and are certified? This is required in some countries, provinces, or states.
Are the hours of operation suitable for your needs? Perhaps a center that is open evenings or weekends is required. It’s important to ask about this as they all work on different schedules.
Discuss the specific medical conditions of the senior with the facility. For instance, are they able to deal with seniors with dementia or mobility issues? What if the senior suffers from incontinence?
Inquire about the staff. Find out what the ratio of staff to seniors is. The last thing you want is for a senior to left on their own all day. That would defeat the purpose. Also, is there sufficient medical staff to deal with mobility or cognitive issues? Are the members carefully vetted before they are hired?
When dealing with seniors, emergencies can develop at any time. Be sure to inquire about what resources are in place in the event of an emergency.
For many people, the cost is an issue. You are sort of walking a fine line here. It follows that the better and more professional the care is, the more it will cost. It’s now always a great idea to choose the senior Daycare that costs the least.
This is why it’s vitally important to find out the range and quality of services they provide. It may cost more for the best, but it may be worth it for the peace of mind it provides.
So what is senior Daycare and the role it plays in the life of a senior and caregivers? It’s an ideal alternative to give both seniors and caregivers an opportunity to revitalize themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.