May 28, 2010: About Adult Day Services

Category: Senior Services
Posted by: leslie

Adult day service centers provide a coordinated program of professional and compassionate services for adults in a community-based group setting. Services are designed to provide social and some health services to adults who need supervised care in a safe place outside the home during the day. They also afford caregivers respite from the demanding responsibilities of care giving.

Adult day centers generally operate during normal business hours five days a week. Some programs offer services in the evenings and on weekends. Although each facility may differ in terms of features, these general services are offered by most adult day centers:

  • Social activities—interaction with other participants in planned activities appropriate for their conditions
  • Transportation—door-to-door service
  • Meals and snacks—participants are provided with meals and snacks, those with special dietary needs are offered special meals
  • Personal care—help with toileting, grooming, eating and other personal activities of daily living
  • Therapeutic activities—exercise and mental interaction for all participants.

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Category: Senior Services
Posted by: admin

It's a tough and troubling decision: Is it time to move your relative to a care home? You constantly try to balance your roller-coaster emotions with objective practical information. But once you've made the decision, what do you do next?

The Family Caregivers Alliance compiled a list of 20 Practical Tips for finding the best residential care for your relative. These tips will help you focus your attention and your thoughts as you make your way through the process.

  1. Know your options. To begin your search, educate yourself on the various levels and cost of care. In general, your options include Retirement Communities/ Independent Living, which may offer communal meals and activities for more independent residents; Residential Care Facilities (RCFEs); and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs).

    Residential Care Facilities include small six-bed Board and Care Homes as well as larger Assisted Living Facilities. The RCFEs are licensed by Community Care Licensing through the State Department of Social Services, and provide, for the most part, nonmedical assistance. Nonmedical assistance includes help with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating.); and "instrumental" activities of daily living (preparing meals, taking medications, etc.). Some care facilities include special units for people with dementia. Persons who qualify for Skilled Nursing Facilities typically require 24-hour nursing supervision and are confined to a bed for some portion of the day.

  2. Make Use of Resources. FCA's Fact Sheet on Residential Care Options is a beginning guide to understanding care options, type of care provided and cost. For additional information on levels of care, cost, or how to evaluate a facility call California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, (800) 474-1116 or visit their website ( CANHR also has a comprehensive, up to date, online guide to over 7,000 facilities in California, including nursing homes and residential care facilities.

  3. Consider what is most important to you and your relative. For many families, being nearby is a major criterion in the decision making, so you can visit your loved one frequently and easily.

    Understanding the general atmosphere of a facility and services that are important to your relative is essential. For example, it might be important for your parent to bring his/her pet to the care facility. This is not an unusual request, and some facilities will accommodate it. Some people require a wide selection of daily activities to choose from, while others might not have this need. Narrow your search based on what is most important to you and your family member.

  4. Use your informal resource system. First-hand information on residential care facilities and nursing homes is invaluable. Don't hesitate to ask friends or support group members if anyone can recommend a care home. Day care providers, hospital discharge planners, or community care nurses are also excellent referral resources.

  5. Contact a Private Placement Service. A placement service can help you focus your search and recommend a few facilities that match your income and the needs of your relative. To locate placement services in your geographic area call Family Caregiver Alliance (800) 445-8106 or your CRC in California. Your local Area Agency on Aging or senior center may have information. There is no fee to you for a placement service, although they may collect a commission from the facility, and there is no obligation to move your loved one. Quality referral services are very familiar with the facilities that they list and are in contact with the families of the residents. This service provides you with another level of screening and facility accountability. Most placement services, however, only work with moderate to higher-cost facilities.

  6. Visit a few care facilities before you are in a crisis situation. It's always best to be prepared. Knowing your care options before you are in a crisis situation is very helpful and might ease your fear about moving your loved one. You might also be pleasantly surprised at what you find!

  7. Make an appointment with the administrator. Come prepared to your interview with lots of written questions. If you are interested in the facility, make a second, third and even fourth visit at different times of the day. You especially want to observe meal time, whether the food is appetizing and healthy, and how participants are accommodated. If you are not invited to visit at anytime, unannounced, you might want to rethink that particular facility. Most residences have an open-door policy for families and friends. For a comprehensive list of interview questions, call CANHR or visit their website. (See Tip 2 for contact information.)

  8. Be prepared for a swell of emotions. Your first visit to a facility might bring up a strong emotional reaction. Be prepared to see residents with varying levels of impairment. You might want to bring a friend or another relative with you for support and/or to help you remember the questions you would like to ask.

  9. Observe the general environment. Is there a cheerful, warm interaction between the staff and the residents? Does the administrator know the residents by name? Do you feel welcomed? How clean is the facility? Do the staff and administrator seem comfortable with each other?

  10. Appearances aren't everything. Spend time speaking with the staff, other family members and residents. Ask what they like most about living or working at the facility and what they like least. Recognize that if your relative moves to this facility, these are the people with whom you will be developing important relationships.

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