Many aging adults want to maintain their independence, but it’s not always possible to be fully independent. Some people may have caregivers within the family who try to fulfill all of their care needs, but relying on family for all sorts of assistance can be stressful for everyone. The good news is that weekday help is available: that’s where adult day services come in.
Elizabeth Cagan, Executive Director of White Crane Wellness Center, explains how adult day services can benefit both seniors and their families.
“Adult day services are an option for individuals and families to be able to remain in their own home within the community,” she says. “It provides the individual with supportive services on a daily basis that empower the participant and the families to remain as independent and healthy as possible.”
Who uses adult day services
Adult day services benefit older adults who live in their own homes, particularly if they feel isolated or lonely. Residents living at assisted living communities and people receiving long-term care also benefit from adult day services.
Some adult day services can provide transportation, social programs and meals. Most centers are open Monday through Friday, which is especially helpful for caregivers who work traditional hours.
A typical day
A typical day begins and ends with transportation provided by the care center, making attendance easier for families and seniors. Healthy meals and snacks are provided throughout the day. Social integration and recreation keep individuals engaged. Medication administration is also available, as well as any other assistance that might be needed.
Adult day services provide additional health benefits
Supportive services aid in the identification of chronic disease or other health issues early, improving outcomes from treatment. “This is so important, because 67 percent of the older adult population are facing at least one chronic condition, and those conditions can limit their activities of daily living,” advises Cagan.
What do adult day services cost?
Costs can vary, but the focus of White Crane Wellness Center and Chicago Methodist Senior Services is to assist older adults in the community. It’s best to contact the staff and ask. “We really just try to create greater access to adult day services for the community,” Cagan points out.
Those with assets below a certain level may be eligible for free care. Long-term care policies may qualify some to have their adult day services expenses covered. Private pay by families and individuals is also accepted.
“Adult day services are a way to help older adults sustain their independence and their functioning as long as possible, and to improve their quality of health and quality of life,” sums up Cagan. “To that extent, it also tremendously helps families and caregivers continue with daily operations and functioning of their lives, while knowing their loved one is in a safe place.”
Listen to an interview with Elizabeth Cagan, Executive Director of White Crane Wellness Center, here.