March 15, 2013
With US life expectancy continuing to rise (79.7 years in 2009), we need more assistance as we age. Although there are various kinds of elderly care available, elder day care centers are for senior citizens who can no longer live independently, or who are living alone.
Some people are hesitant to consider elder day care centers since they are not familiar with this set-up or grandma or grandpa doesn’t want go to these centers with the perception that they are not loved. However, well-run elder day care centers, with complete facilities, are beneficial for senior citizens especially those with special needs. Older persons can also socialize with other participants in the center helping them to cope up with the stress of old age. Family members, especially those with demanding jobs, can also benefit from getting a break from care giving duties knowing that their loved one is safe.
What is an Elder Day Care Center?
Elder day care is a designed daily program of activities well-planned to take care of the well being of senior citizens through communal and medical related services. Elder Day Care Centers operate during business hours and days in a secure, relaxing and jovial place. Healthy meals that cater to the special needs of older persons are served including nutritious snacks.
Recent reports from the National Adult Day Services Association or NADSA show that there are about 4,500 elder day care centers all throughout the US with each state having their own set of rules for regulations.
In choosing the best elder day care center for your needs, you should take note of important factors as recommended by NADSA.
- Minimum Staff to Participant Ratio of 1 to 6 – this ratio can be smaller, based on the special medical needs of the participants.
- Interactive and Cheerful Social Activities – interaction with other participants should be appropriate for their special needs and conditions
- Transportation – offers door to door service or efficient mobile service
- Meals and snacks – healthy meals and snacks are provided. The center should offer customized diet plan for every participant to avoid foods not allowed because of medical conditions such as allergies.
- Staff Skills – the staff should be skillful and compassionate with toileting, grooming, eating and other personal activities of older persons
- Interactive therapeutic activities – the center should have some type of physical exercise and mental stimulating games for all participants.
Insurance coverage for elderly is often complicated because of governmental programs and private insurance. For assistance with health insurance coverage for seniors please call 1-800-585-1776 and speak to one of the licensed insurance agents at California Health Plans.