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June 25, 2024

A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 10% of adults aged 60-69 care for their parents in the United States, as do roughly 12% of adults aged 70 and older. Older adults who have to take on the role of caregiver are put in difficult positions, especially for those who suffer from health problems themselves. They are also forced to set aside their own retirement plans in order to attend to an ailing parent. In cases like these, adult day care centers can be beneficial.

What Is Adult Day Care?
An adult day care is a center for older adults who need supervised care throughout the day. The center often offers a variety of activities to stimulate their clients. Besides offering social activities, adult day care centers also attend to the health needs of the adults in their care.

There are two kinds of adult day care centers: adult day care and adult day health. Adult day care emphasizes recreational activities and social interactions, while adult day health caters to medical and therapeutic services. Some adult day cares specialize in specific health conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

As the word implies, adult day cares operate during the daytime, from Monday to Friday.

What Services Are Available in Adult Day Care Centers?
Adult day cares differ in type, in size, and in the services they provide. Some services you may find are:

Whether the activities are recreational (such as board games), physical, or social, the goal of these adult day cares is to keep their clients mentally and physical stimulated. Some activities include movies, music, yoga, or even local outings.

Health Services
Adult day care centers often have registered nurses to help their clients with things like medication administration, blood pressure checks, or any therapeutic services. Physical therapy is offered in some adult day health centers, too.

Clients are provided with nutritious meals during the day. Most adult day cares will accommodate any special diets that their clients need as well.

If the adult day care center has a local outing, transportation is provided.


The Benefits of Adult Day Care for Older Adults and Their Caregivers
Few adults are prepared to care for their aging parents. Daily activities — administering medication, ensuring they get their exercise, performing health checks — can be taxing. Some adults haven’t yet retired and may not be able to fit these kinds of caregiving errands in their already full day.

Consider the benefits that an adult day care can offer both loved ones and their caregivers:

  • Older adults receive care: Kupuna are cared for throughout the day. They are mentally and physically stimulated, they receive nutritious meals, and they receive their medication on time. For those needing more therapeutic services, registered nurses are assigned to patients with dementia or other ailments.
  • Caregivers can work: Caregivers can put in a full day’s work and run errands without having to worry about the needs of their loved ones.
  • Gives loved ones a feeling of independence: Older adults can resume their previous independent life during the day, which can help alleviate loneliness.
  • Helps relieve caregiver’s stress: A study from the Family Caregiver Alliance showed that 40-70% of caregivers suffered from depression. This is due to a variety of reasons, such as less sleep, less time to socialize, and more financial problems. Taking care of an aging adult is mentally and emotionally demanding. An adult day care can help ease the caregiver’s burden.

Why Should Someone Consider Adult Day Care?
As adults age, their needs change, and caregivers may not be emotionally and physically equipped to meet those needs. Here are some reasons to consider an adult day care center:

  • When your loved one cannot be left at home alone anymore
  • If your loved one is lonely and needs both mental and physical stimulation
  • If your loved one has a physical condition, such as dementia, and is rapidly deteriorating

Reasons Why People Are Reluctant to Send a Loved One to Adult Day Care Centers
As adults age, they become mentally and physically frail. This puts them in a position where they may easily be taken advantage of by others around them. This kind of misconduct, whether it’s passive or active, is one of the reasons some caregivers are reluctant to send a loved one to an adult day care center. For peace of mind, visit the center alone to see how staff interact with their clients.

Finding a Good Adult Day Care Center
Keep an open mind when deciding on an adult day care for an older parent. Visit the center alone to see how other clients are faring. It’s important to visit at different times of the day, too.

Testing the waters is important. Use the adult day care once a week at first to see how good a fit it is before making a decision. Adult day cares offer different services, and it’s important to find one that fits your needs as well as the needs of your loved one.

Ask specific questions about the kind of health care services provided, especially if your loved one needs special care.

Adult day cares for aging adults are often less expensive than in-home care, but you should compare the two. You’ll also want to know what kind of insurance the center takes and if there are any out-of-pocket services.

Most importantly, however, you want to make sure that the kupuna you’re caring for will be happy there and will benefit from the center's services.

How We Can Help
As kupuna in your home ages, you may have to consider alternative options to caregiving. At Arcadia Adult Day Care & Day Health Center at Central Union Church, we offer rehabilitative, personalized therapy, and respite services to older adults in a safe and caring environment. Our adult day care provides fun and stimulating activities for older adults as well as healthy, delicious meals. If you’re interested in finding out more about our adult day care center in Honolulu, schedule a tour, or download a brochure, visit us online at Arcadia Adult Day Care & Day Health Center at Central Union Church.

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