What are Adult Day Services?
Adult day care services delay the need for assisted living or residential home care. Most adult day cares provide a program of activities and outings, meals and social community. Generally, this is held in a facility where participants are cared for by trained medical staff. There are adult day cares that follow a purely social model, while others offer medical services such as physical, occupational or speech therapy. These services can help preserve some level of independence for adults living with disabilities, enabling them to live at home alone or with family for longer.
How Adult Day Care Improves Health Outcomes for Disabled Adults
There are many benefits that people living with disabilities and their carers can take advantage of when it comes to day care services. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the improved health outcomes. Disabled adults who are alone during the day are at higher risk of developing injuries, social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. Attending an adult day program even a few times per week can positively impact the mental and physical well-being of people living with disabilities by reducing these risks.
Regular Health Monitoring
Many adult day care centers are equipped with health professionals to conduct comprehensive health screenings, administer medication, take vitals, and create individualized support plans. Family caregivers are often involved in the development and assessment of care plans. Being regularly monitored and supported in achieving health goals helps promote independence and reduce health risks.
It is common for adults with disabilities to get insufficient nutrients, especially if they are often alone during the day. Depending on their situation, they face barriers to getting groceries and cooking, so adult day care centers are a great solution. Most services will provide participants with one or two nutritious meals in addition to snacks. This not only helps them access healthy, nutritious meals but it also provides some relief for family caregivers having to cook.
Social Stimulation & Mental Well-Being
The social impact of day care for adults living with disabilites is tremendous. These communities provide a safe and stimulating environment that allow them to feel a sense of belonging and purpose. Living with a condition that makes you different from most people can be an isolating and lonely experience. Therefore, getting to be around friends who live with a similar shared experience is encouraging and affirming. Social stimulation has positive impacts on mental well-being. Day care programming typically has group and individual activities involving crafts, education, music, games, planned outings, fitness, and more. This variety of activities helps keep these individuals active mentally and physically, too.
Life Skills Development
Adult day centers give disabled adults the opportunity to try a full range of activities and learn new things. With guided support, they will gain new skills, confidence and independence. Life skills development will be different for each individual but could include learning computer skills, cooking, personal care routines, managing money, social skills, job readiness, etc.
Burnout is a problem facing so many family caregivers. Everyone needs a break from caring for someone who needs constant attention and assistance. Everyone also needs help from time to time when it comes to learning how best to care for their loved one. Adult day care centers offer short term and long term sessions so that family caregivers can work daytime hours or practice self-care. It frees them up for several hours so that they can run errands, socialize with friends, attend an exercise class, etc. Additionally, adult day care services may offer educational workshops, caregiver support groups, and other resources to families. Since day care services tend to cost less than home care, it can relieve stress for caregivers. That financial benefit is instrumental in helping people age in place.
Day Care for Disabled Adults & Technology
When looking for an adult day care center, ask if the service offers any sort of software or app for connecting with families. Adult day care software like StoriiCare enables families to receive live activity participation notifications, photo updates, community announcements and messages from the adult day care center through any wireless device. Additionally, service users have their own personal profile that they and family members can contribute to by uploading photos and videos or curating personalized playlists. It is a great way for families, participants and adult day staff to communicate and collaborate, enhancing person-centered care.