Adult day centers are a great option for caregiver respite

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

COA for CaregiversMost caregivers must juggle working; caring for their loved ones; and taking care of their homes, family responsibilities and many other things that “pop up” throughout their days. The demands can be too overwhelming and may seem impossible to manage.

If you are a caregiver, you’re likely well aware there is simply not enough time in the day to complete all these tasks and also care for yourself properly. As many caregivers tell me, they put aside their own needs to meet the needs of their loved ones. While this is very admirable, everything simply cannot be done by a single person. Caregivers must have time to care for their own needs and recharge their own batteries.

I’m often asked by caregivers about having an aide come to their homes to care for their loved ones so they can get a much-needed break. The reality is that there just are not enough workers available right now to attend to all the clients in need of this service. We are currently in the midst of a nationwide shortage of home care aides. And, while Council on Aging is working on innovative solutions to overcome this issue locally, our clients might still experience gaps in services. This may add to a caregiver’s stress.

One option I encourage caregivers to consider is an adult day program. The centers in our area are well-equipped to manage clients with dementia, as well as others with medical needs. There is a licensed nurse present at the centers and plenty of activities for the clients to engage in. The centers provide daily meals, assist with medications that are needed during attendance, complete personal care if needed, and provide socialization opportunities for the clients. It also allows an entire day of much needed respite for caregivers. It’s a win-win!

Caregivers may be reluctant to try an adult day center. They may say, “No, I don’t think she would like that,” or “I just don’t think he would agree to go.” But I always encourage caregivers to check them out and give them a try instead of saying “no” right away.

I’ve have had many caregivers report that it was the best decision they’ve made for themselves and their loved ones. To see how one COA family relies on adult day services so they can go to work, and how much their father – who has dementia – loves it, watch this video.

 If you’re looking for assistance in providing safe and supportive care for your loved one, and respite for yourself, I encourage you to consider adult day centers!

You can find information about adult day centers in our area through Council on Aging’s online resource directory.