A 2010 MetLife national study of adult day services found that there are over 4600 adult day care centers in the U.S.  These centers service more than 260,000 participants and caregivers.  This study found the average clients to be women who are 65 years or older and need some help with managing their medication and activities of daily living. What follows is an overview of the services often offered by adult day care providers.

Planned careNearly all of the adult day care centers surveyed in a 2010 MetLife study of adult day care centers offered a plan of care for their participants. This helps ensure that elderly loved ones will receive the care appropriate for their condition.  Some centers even offer hospice care for those in the final stages of their lives.

Personal careAdult day care centers can help seniors who need help with some of the activities of daily life.  This can involve help with walking, going to the bathroom, and eating.  91% or more of the centers that were surveyed provide this type of help at no extra cost.

Nursing careMore than 80% of adult day care centers have a nurse on staff, according to the 2010 MetLife study.  In recent years, there has been an increase in helping seniors manage their medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension.  This study found that 81% of the centers offered help with monitoring diabetes, while 89% monitored blood pressure.  Over half offered care of wounds and catheters, while almost half were able to feed participants through a tube.

TransportationDoor to door transportation is provided by many such centers.  Whether or not there is an added cost usually depends on how far away the clients live.

MealsHealthy, nutritious food is provided to the clients of adult day care centers.  Snacks are also provided throughout the day.  This means you no longer have to worry whether or not your loved one is getting adequate food while you are at work.

Caregiver supportThe support of caregivers is an important part of the mission of most adult day care centers.  Educational programs and even counseling are frequently available to primary caregivers in an effort to address and resolve the issues that can arise in such a situation.

Activities and entertainmentSpending time in an adult day care center involves partaking in a lot of fun activities. More than 80% of such centers offer music therapy, and almost 75% have activities involving pets.  There are games such as bingo to stimulate cognitive function, along with arts and crafts programs.  There can also be discussions, surrounding current events, movies and books.

Most centers have programs that involve interacting with young people, such as sponsoring performances by children’s choirs or becoming involved with local schools.  Getting exercise on a daily basis is another benefit to participating in an adult day care program.  This can range from stretching, to more vigorous forms of exercise, but always with consideration given to the client’s ability and comfort level.

Cost and Financing

Spending time in an adult day care center costs much less than if your loved one was in a nursing home.  The cost of such care can vary, depending on how the center charges for care.  There can be a flat daily rate, or a charge per hour.  Most centers charge for a full day or charge a flat fee per day.  The average cost of a full day was slightly under $62 in 2010 according to a MetLife study.  This is less than half what it would cost to have your loved one in a nursing home.  Most centers have a sliding scale, so participants can pay what they are able to afford.

Medicare does not cover the cost of adult day care.  It may be possible to get Medicaid coverage, if your loved one suffers from dementia or needs to receive specific medical care.  If your loved one is receiving skilled medical care, this care might be covered by medical insurance.

Some long-term care policies will pay for adult day care, and using this service instead of skilled nursing services can help to prolong the payment of benefits.  The Veteran’s Administration can be another source of funding for some.

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