What is Senior Adult Day Care?

Malcolm Tatum

Senior adult day care is a collective term used to describe public and private services designed to provide a safe and pleasant environment for people who have reached the status of senior citizens. Along with activities and programs operated by private institutions such as churches or other houses of faith, adult day care centers are often operated by cities and towns around the world. The range of care provided often depends on the resources of the sponsoring entity and any legal guidelines that apply to the particular jurisdiction.

Workers at an adult day care may spend time listening to seniors and providing comfort.
Workers at an adult day care may spend time listening to seniors and providing comfort.

The premise of senior adult day care is to provide a safe place for the elderly to congregate and engage in various activities that help to keep the mind and body active. To that end, most adult day care centers will provide a range of social activities that are both structured and unstructured. This allows a senior adult visiting the facility to participate in some type of group activity or to simply find a quiet corner and enjoy a good book for awhile.

Adult day care may offer seniors creative activities to do, such as needlepoint.
Adult day care may offer seniors creative activities to do, such as needlepoint.

In addition to the social aspect of a basic senior adult day care facility, there is also the health component that is considered to be vital for people of all ages. Most centers will provide a range of supervised indoor and outdoor activities, such as sports, games, television rooms, and dining facilities. The idea is to provide a variety of options that can help stimulate the mind while also allowing seniors to be physically active to the best of their abilities.

Senior adult day care services often include at least rudimentary medical support as well. Health professionals such as doctors, nurses, and counselors are often on hand to help with issues such as remembering to take medication or to deal with minor cuts and abrasions. Counselors may also help seniors who are dealing with some sort of recent emotional trauma, such as the passing of a loved one.

Many communities provide some form of senior adult day care as part of a service to the wider community. Services of this type are especially important for children of senior citizens. With both adults in many households working, providing care for an elderly parent can be challenging both in terms of finances and time. Thanks to the presence of adult day health care centers, children can rest assured that elderly parents are in a safe environment where they can receive assistance if needed.

When it comes to cost, the price for participation in a senior adult day care program will vary. Some programs are operated by private entities such as clubs or religious organizations. Many of these do not charge anything for seniors to participate. Other more comprehensive programs, such as those operated by a municipality, may charge a small monthly fee in order for each senior to have complete access to all the amenities offered at the center. A growing trend is to offer essential services for a modest fee, but charge additional fees for more labor-intensive services such as extended counseling.

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