Choosing an Adult Day Center

Posted on November 21, 2011 by Elder Care East Valley in Adult Day Care, Alzheimers Care, Blog, Dementia Care, Respite Care

Adult day centers provide a planned program that includes a variety of health, social and support services in a protective setting during daytime hours. Below are some suggestions for choosing the right adult day center for you or your loved one.

Step 1 – Determine your needs

What specific services are important to the person using the center?

  • A safe, secure environment?
  • Social activities?
  • Assistance with daily living skills – walking, eating, taking medications, bathing?
  • Therapies – physical, speech, occupational, nursing?
  • Health monitoring – blood pressure, blood sugar levels, food/liquid intake, weight?
  • Nutritious meals and/or snacks? Special diet?
  • Exercise programming?
  • Specialized care such as dementia care or TBI care?

What do you, the caregiver need?

  • Occasional free time?
  • Coverage while working?
  • Transportation for your loved one?
  • Assistance in planning care?

Step 2 – Locate an adult day center

  • View centers in NADSA’s Database: http://www.nadsa.org/
  • Contact your local Area Agency on Aging (800-677-1116)
  • Contact your state’s Adult Day Services Association
  • Ask at a local senior center or organization serving persons with developmental disabilities (as applicable)
  • Use a search engine to locate a center and review center websites

Step 3 – Make an appointment to visit the center(s)

Step 4 – Know what to ask during your visit

  • How many years has the center been in operation?
  • Does the center have a license, certification and/or accreditation?
  • What are the hours of operation?
  • Are transportation services offered?
  • What is the cost?
  • Hourly or daily charge, other charges?
  • What type of payments are accepted?
  • Is financial assistance available?
  • Is specialized care provided for conditions such as memory loss or TBI?
  • What is the staff/ participant ratio?
  • What kind of training does staff receive?
  • Do participants have access to services such as physical or occupational therapy?
  • What type of activities are provided?
  • Are meals and/or snacks provided? Dietary assistance?

Step 5 – Check references

  • Talk to two or three people who have used the center you are considering. Ask for their opinion.

Step 6 – Try it out

  • Select a day center and give it a try for a few days.
  • Keep in mind that it often takes several visits for a new participant to feel comfortable in a new setting and routine. Staff may have suggestions for making the transition easier both at home and at the center.

Step 7 – Take care of yourself

  • Relax knowing your loved one is being well cared for. Always feel free to check in with the center and ask questions. They are there to help you!