You might be devoted to your mom’s care, but no one can provide round-the-clock supervision with no help. You might find support in the form of an in-home healthcare worker who comes for a few hours a day, or you might consider sending her to an adult day program. This option allows you to work, care for your own children, manage the household, and get some much-deserved respite from the stresses of caring for a person with multiple needs. Like every decision you have had to make on behalf of your mom, choosing an adult day program is not easy. Our Elder Care team provides some tips for researching facilities to help you make a choice. Remember, you cannot provide your mom with the care she needs if you are overwhelmed. A quality daycare program could be the answer for both of you.
What Does an Adult Day Activity Facility Do?
Your community might offer several options for adult day programs, and the first question you will have to ask is about the level of care. While a senior center might offer daytime activities like bridge tournaments, exercise classes, and painting studios, these are generally for independent people who don’t require assistance with their own care. If you are primarily concerned about your mom being bored and lonely, these programs could be the solution. Many of them even offer transportation if your mom no longer drives.
However, if your mom has physical disabilities or dementia, she needs a higher level of care. In this case, a licensed daycare program is probably what you need. At these centers, caregivers help with meals, medication, and toileting, and activities and entertainment are provided to keep your mom occupied. Of course, some facilities do this better than others, so it is important that you fully investigate a center before sending your mom there.
What to Look for When Researching a Senior Day Activity Center
You might be feeling desperate to find daytime care for your mom, but it will be worth your time to fully investigate your options. The first thing you need to know is whether the facility can meet your loved one’s needs. If she has dementia, do they provide security and support? If she is disabled, can they manage her physical needs? Next, you will want to find out if your mom can afford the cost. There is a broad range in pricing between community and private centers. Once you have filtered out centers that cannot provide adequate care and that you cannot afford, you will want to take the following steps:
- Visit the facility. If possible, drop by the facility without an appointment and ask for a tour. You want to see a facility that is clean, bright, and well-organized. Is the staff friendly? Do participants look happy? Are there activities going on? An unannounced visit will provide some of the most helpful information.
- Ask about the staff. In a scheduled visit, ask about the qualifications and turnover rates of the staff. Are there licensed professionals on staff? Is there some degree of stability in employment? You will also want to know about the staff-to-client ratio.
- Request a daily schedule. Ask to see a calendar of daily events, as well as a schedule of special events, facility closures, meal times, transportation schedules, and anything else that is important to your mom’s care and happiness.
- Check records and licensing. Ask about the facility’s credentials and check to make sure they are licensed. Find out who owns the facility and what the history and reputation of the company are.
In Texas, seniors on Medicaid can attend a Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS) facility. These facilities are available Monday through Friday for up to ten hours a day and address physical, mental, medical, and social needs. Even though they are licensed by the state, there is a range in quality and care, so you should visit these centers before signing up as well.
Are You Looking for an Elder Law Attorney in Texarkana, TX?
If you are looking for advice about paying for your elderly loved one’s care, you need to speak with an experienced Medicaid Planning attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Texarkana office directly at 903.223.5653. We also have offices in Tyler, Paris, Longview as well as Magnolia, AR!