Adult day care programs provide a group setting outside the home for older adults who need care and supervision during the day. Those who participate in adult day care programs are usually still living at home and a spouse or family member is their primary caregiver. A day program can offer a way for an older adult to stay safe and occupied when the primary caregiver needs to be away during the day or simply needs some rest. Additionally, a full day at an adult day program may cost much less than employing personal care aides at home for the same amount of time.
It may be time to consider an adult day care program when your loved one needs supervision and any of the following:
- Can no longer manage his or her own activities
- Has difficulty focusing on or initiating new activities
- Is lonely or isolated and would like to interact with peers
- Cannot be left alone safely
- Lives with someone who works outside the home during the day
- Is depressed or anxious and needs emotional support
- Gets anxious or worried when left alone
- Has a primary caregiver who has increased anxiety, depression or frustration related to their caregiving responsibilities
General Services Provided by Adult Day Care Programs
Most adult day care programs include the following services:
- Social activities appropriate for their condition
- Transportation to and from the facility
- Meals and snacks
- Personal care which includes assistance with toileting, grooming, eating, managing incontinence and personal mobility
- Therapeutic activities, such as exercise and mental interaction.
Programs tend to be focused in one of three general types. The first is a social program, which provides meals, social activities and some personal care services. The second type, medical/health, focuses more on medical services for participants needing more health and medical support. Activities and social events are a part of these programs as well. Finally, the third type is a specialized program, focused on individuals with specific diagnoses or disabilities, such as dementia, traumatic brain injury or developmental disabilities.
Programs may offer full or half day options.
Cost and Payment
Adult day services vary in cost around the United States. According to this guide by Paying for Senior Care, the national average in 2019 is $72 for a full day.
Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) does not pay for adult day care programs. Plans under Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes provide benefits not covered by traditional Medicare, which could include adult day care. Check your Medicare Advantage plan for details.
Medicaid covers day services in all states under their Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waivers. The day care program benefit helps individuals to stay at home when they otherwise would require skilled nursing home care.
Veterans health care plans pay for adult day care programs in certain situations. Other veterans benefit programs, such as pensions and Aid & Attendance, also cover adult day care.
Long term care insurance policies may include payment for adult day care depending on the details of the policy.
When a participant does not have a benefit available to cover the cost, participants and their families pay privately, out of pocket.
Each adult day care program has their own procedures for how payments are accepted. Many will require upfront payment for a week or a month, for example. Others may require a deposit.
Finding and Enrolling in Adult Day Care Programs
Many senior living communities offer adult day care programs to the community. The program integrates participants with the residents of the community during the day, and the day care participants essentially join the community’s activities for the day. Day programs align with the level of care of the community. For example, a memory care neighborhood would offer a day care program for non-residents who also have a dementia diagnosis. An assisted living program would invite day participants who would otherwise qualify for assisted living.
Since most adult day care programs provide some type of physical care, the programs have admission requirements. These requirements may include a letter from a physician, a confirmed diagnosis, a health check and perhaps a trial period.
Since participants spend a few hours to a full day at the program facility, they may need personal supplies from time to time. The program provider may ask you to bring a change of clothes and personal hygiene supplies for your loved one.
How Care is There can help:
Wondering if your loved one would benefit from an adult day care program? Care is There can help. Your lifestyle coordinator can:
- Compile a list of local adult day care programs
- Research individual adult day care programs
- Arrange for tours or trials of day care programs
- Obtain needed documentation to apply for the program
- Stock personal supplies at the facility
- Assist acclimating your loved one to the program
- Assist filing claims for benefits, such as long term care insurance or veterans programs
Contact Care is There today for a free consultation!