A Typical Day at an Adult Day Care Center

December 24, 2016

Adult day care as a specialized service for the geriatric population is a relatively recent advancement in health care for the elderly in the United States. It was only in the early 1970’s that the need for this service was recognized by the government and limited funding initially was made available for it through the Older Americans Act. (Goldstone 1989). There has been significant growth in the number of adult day services centers in the US over the past 8 years. There are more than 4,600 Adult Day Services ( ADS) centers nationwide.

Most centers operate Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM. The amount of space necessary for a center is usually mandated by the state at 50 sq ft. per client; therefore, one would require 5,000 sq ft. for a one hundred capacity center.

Centers are usually administered by a professional in the health care field, nursing field or social work field. Professional services are provided by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse and recreational and therapy professionals as well. Generally the direct care worker to program participant ratio is 1:6.

Fees for such services average $61.76 per day and typically come from a public source such as Medicaid waiver, Veterans Administration, state/local social services or directly from a private pay participant not eligible for Medicaid.

Though participants are diverse in age, ethnicity and ability the average participant is a 65 plus year old female who may or may not have dementia, hypertention or a physical disability requiring assistance with one activity of daily living (ADL) and medication management as well. The average length of enrollment in a program for each participant is 24 months.

In recent years adult day care centers have become a staple in communities for older Americans, people with disabilities and family caregivers rely on them for ther services they provide. Because these centers make it possible for people to continue to live in their homes and receive affordable care in a supportive, professionally staffed, community-based setting. Further, they benefit family caregivers by enabling them to remain in the workforce or to receive needed respite and support services


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