Tips for Evaluating Adult Day Care Centers

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<p><strong>Westport, Conn. &mdash; Nov. 26</strong><br />As greater numbers of baby boomers care for aging loved ones, adult day care centers are becoming an increasingly popular option for meeting their needs. Adult day care centers are designed for older adults who benefit from structure, personal supervision and guidance due to physical frailties or mental impairments. Some centers offer social and recreational activities only; others are specifically suited to individuals with Alzheimer&#39;s disease or dementia; and still others are equipped to care for adults who require hands-on care or medical supervision. All adult day care programs are intended to provide social and recreational activities in a safe, secure environment to promote community involvement and self-esteem.<br /><br />Here are some tips that will help you carefully evaluate and assess each center in which you might be interested in placing a loved one:<br /><br />&bull;    Visit each center twice &mdash; once at an appointed time and once unannounced. And bring your loved one with you at least once.<br />&bull;    Talk with older adults who are at the center (and their family members, if possible) and pay close attention to their mood and the atmosphere in general.<br />&bull;    Carefully interview the director of the center and ask if a trial enrollment period can be arranged.<br /><br />Also ask the director:<br /><br />&bull;    if the center is licensed and by whom;<br />&bull;    if the center is inspected by state and/or local officials and if the inspection records are available for review;<br />&bull;    if backup care, transportation, and meals or snacks are offered;<br />&bull;    what type of personnel are employed at the center (e.g., physical therapists, social workers, activities directors, home health aides, registered nurses, etc.);<br />&bull;    if the staff members are required to be licensed and/or certified;<br />&bull;    what the staff-to-participant ratio is;<br />&bull;    what safety features the facility provides;<br />&bull;    what documents (medical and other) are required for enrollment;<br />&bull;    what medical services, if any, the center can access. </p>

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