Caring for a senior loved one often becomes the responsibility of a family member – in many cases a daughter or son. But what happens when the family caregiver needs a break or a helping hand from time to time?
Caregivers often become so focused on providing for their senior loved one that they don’t take the time to address their own needs. It is important, however, for caregivers to take time for themselves – after all, if something happens to them, Mom and Dad will probably suffer as well.
The family caregiver may also need help because they have to be able to go to work, tend to tasks around the home, or take care of other business necessary to keep their household running.
“Adult day care programs are an underutilized resource for seniors and those who care for them,” said Michelle Glass, Bethesda’s Vice President of Home and Community Based Services. “Adult day care benefits both seniors and their caregivers – offering the perfect balance of care, socialization, and independence at a low cost, which is affordable to nearly everyone.”
According to Michelle, families who take part in adult day care programs consistently experience:
- lower levels of stress related to caregiving
- report increases in socialization opportunities for their loved one
- decreased symptoms of depression in both the family members and the senior
- cost savings versus in-home care
Convenience for Caregivers
Adult day care for your senior loved one helps you avoid caregiver burnout and regain control of your schedule. Whether you need an occasional break once a month, or if you are scheduling regular ongoing adult day care to assist with your daily life, your whole family will reap the benefits of this service. Adult day care benefits for caregivers include:
- Allows the senior’s caregiver to remain in the workforce
- Provides the caregiver with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their family member is engaged in social and therapeutic activities in a safe, supervised community environment
- Provides a respite for the caregiver
- Allows family to remain the primary care provider for their senior loved one
- Offers education and guidance about the medical and social needs of their loved one
Socialization Opportunities for Seniors
Seniors also see great benefits from getting out of the house and participating in activities. Adult day care allows seniors to meet new friends and experience new things. You’re never too old to have fun!
The many benefits seniors see from adult day care services include:
- Allowing a senior to live with their family instead of a skilled nursing home community
- Spending time with people their age can reduce a senior’s feelings of isolation and loneliness
- Validates abilities
- Encourages independence
- Enhances self-esteem
- Builds relationships
- Assists with personal care, medical and nutritional needs
- Engages seniors in socialization activities in a safe environment
Better Quality of Life – for Everyone!
Cheryl Woodruff, an officer with the Missouri Adult Day Services Association, said people who care for a loved one at home can benefit from sharing the responsibility for looking after Mom or Dad with an adult day care program.
“Adult day care services offer consistent health care monitoring and medication administration, and that reduces hospital readmissions and emergency room visits,” Cheryl said. “It not only enhances the quality of life for both participants and family caregivers, it’s the most cost-effective option in the long-term care industry.”
Cheryl added that seniors who live at home can receive a full range of interdisciplinary professional care from licensed nurses, social workers, physical, occupational and speech therapists while attending adult day care.
“Participants of adult day care programs are better able to maintain or even improve their functional levels,” Woodruff said. “Adult day care provides structure, which is often the thing that keeps families together.”
Many senior caregivers take advantage of services like Adult Day Care. If you are interested in learning more about the Adult Day Care in the St. Louis area, contact Bethesda Dilworth at 314-446-2103 or Bethesda Southgate at 314-846-2000.