1 minute read

Adult Day Care

Benefits Of The Center Setting, The Facility, Goals Of The Adult Day Program, Care Models

The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) defines an adult day center in its Standards and Guidelines for Adult Day Services (revised 1997) thus:

An adult day center is a community-based group program designed to meet the needs of adults with functional impairments through an individual plan of care. This is a structured, comprehensive program that provides a variety of health, social and related support services in a protective setting during any part of a day, but less than 24-hour care.

Individuals participating in adult day centers attend on a planned basis during specified hours. Adult day centers assist. . .participants to remain in the community, and this enables families and other caregivers to continue caring at home for a family member with an impairment.

This community-based program meets the needs of participants and their caregivers in a congregate setting. Participants generally provide their own transportation, though many adult day care centers provide or arrange for transportation.

Though each adult day center is staffed according to the needs of its participants, most programs operate with an interdisciplinary team that consists of activity staff, usually an activity director and assistants; program assistants who aid with personal care; a social worker; a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse; and a center director. In small programs the center director often functions as both the director and the social worker or the director and the nurse. Centers that serve a large number of participants may also employ a driver, secretary, and accountant. The average adult day center has a daily census of twenty-five to thirty participants. NADSA recommends a minimum staff-to-participant ratio of one to six. This ratio can be even smaller, depending upon the level of participant impairment. For example, if a program serves a large proportion of participants with dementia, the ratio of staff to participants should be closer to one to four.

The typical adult day center operates for eight to twelve hours each day. Because of the changing needs of caregivers, many centers are open five to seven days per week. Participants experience a structured day that includes meals, activities, exercise, and opportunities for informal socialization, as well as assistance with personal care when needed.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1