This guide will help you in your search for quality Adult Day Services centers. You may wish to refer to it when you interview potential providers.
Adult Day Centers provide a planned program that includes a variety of health, social and support services in a protective setting during daytime hours. This is a community-based service designed to meet the individual needs of functionally and/or cognitively impaired adults.
STEP 1 – Determine your needs
STEP 2 – Find adult day centers
STEP 3 – Call first!
STEP 4 – Know what to ask
STEP 5 – Pay a visit
STEP 6 – Check references
STEP 7 – Try it out
STEP 8 – Take care of yourself
What specific services are important to the person who needs supervised care?
- A safe, secure environment
- Social activities
- Assistance with mobility
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Special diet
- Physical exercise
- Exercises for the brain
- Personal care – bathing, shampoos, shaving
- Health monitoring – blood pressure, food or liquid intake, weight
- Skilled nursing services
- Therapies – physical, speech, occupational
What does the caregiver need?
- Occasional free time
- Coverage while working
- Education or training on caregiving skills
- Assistance in planning for care
Identify services in your area. For names and phone numbers of adult day centers, try:
- Yellow Pages (“Adult Day Care,” “Aging Services,” “Senior Citizens Services,” etc.)
- Area Agency on Aging (AAA) – call 1-800-677-1116 for the AAA in your area, or search for them online
- A senior center
- Your primary care physician
- National Adult Day Services Association
- Pennsylvania Adult Day Services Association
Search for adult day center websites. Call adult day centers and ask for a flier or brochure, eligibility criteria, a monthly activity calendar, a monthly menu and application procedures.
Look for the following information in the material received.
- Is the center a member of the Pennsylvania Adult Day Services Association (PADSA)
- Owner or sponsoring agency
- Years of operation
- National accreditation (optional) and license (mandatory)
- Hours of operation
- Days open
- Transportation and other services offered
- Costs – hourly or daily charge, other charges, financial assistance
- Conditions accepted – such as memory loss, limited mobility, incontinence
- Staff credentials
- Number of staff per participant
- Activities provided – is there variety and choice of individual and group activities?
- Menu – appeal, balance
Make an appointment to visit two or more centers that might meet your needs. You may want to “drop in” rather than make an appointment but realize that staff members may be busy with participants or other families and not able to see you immediately.
The following list will help you decide which day center is the right one for you.
SITE VISIT CHECKLIST
Yes / No – Did you feel welcomed?
Yes / No – Did someone spend time finding out what you want and need?
Yes / No – Did someone clearly explain what services and activities the center provides?
Yes / No – Did they present information about staffing, program procedures, costs and what they expect of caregivers?
Yes / No – Was the facility clean, pleasant and free of odor?
Yes / No – Were the building and the rooms wheelchair accessible?
Yes / No – Was there sturdy, comfortable furniture? Loungers for relaxation? Chairs with arms?
Yes / No – Is there a quiet place for conferences?
Yes / No – Is there a place to isolate sick persons?
Yes / No – Did you see cheerful faces on staff and participants?
Yes / No – What is their method of communicating with the caregiver?
Yes / No – Are participants involved in planning activities or making other suggestions?
Talk to two or three people who have used the center you are considering. Ask for their opinion. Does the center have a reference list to give you when requested?
Select a day center. Try it for three to five days. It sometimes takes several visits for new participants to feel comfortable in a new setting and with a new routine. If you have questions or are experiencing any problems, ask for a conference. Staff may have suggestions to make the transition easier both at home and at the day center.
Relax. Your loved one is being well cared for. Remember, your loved one may not be able to recall all the activities enjoyed during the day. The staff will gladly provide the missing details. The day center staff is there for you, too. Ask for:
- Tips to make caregiving easier
- Additional resources available in the community