Adult day centers provide care for older adults, respite for caregivers

Adult day centers, such as the Susan J. Rheem Adult Day Centers in Prescott, Prescott Valley and Cottonwood, benefit both participants and caregivers, Marsha Douglas, community liaison and director of Adult Care Services in Prescott, told a local Parkinson’s support group this week.

According to The National Adult Day Services Association, 5,685 day programs were in operation in the United States in 2014 – up from 4,601 in 2010.

Reasons for the growth?

Adult day service centers provide a coordinated program of professional and compassionate services for adults in a community-based group setting. Services are designed to provide social and health services to older adults who need supervised care in a safe environment outside the home during the day.

They also afford caregivers time off from the demanding responsibilities of caregiving, and will continue to be of use as caregiver shortages continue to grow as more seniors age in place.

The Susan J. Rheem Adult Day Centers operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Among the services and benefits offered for seniors are socialization (in the form of crafts, exercise, field trips, games, pet therapy and more), nutritious meals and medical monitoring.

Another benefit: promotion of independence.

“Older adults or people living with a disability yearn for independence,” Douglas said. “An adult day center gives one a chance to enjoy being on one’s own in a safe and caring environment and provides time away from family and to do things with others like themselves.”

Benefits to caregivers include an end to overwhelm, reduced stress and decreased symptoms of depression.

“Family caregivers become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work they face to care for their loved ones,” Douglas said. “With medicine schedules, physical exertions and constantly having to meet their needs, caregivers often find themselves unable to handle the day-to-day demands. … An adult day center is the perfect choice for time away for yourself or work time without the fear of leaving your loved one alone.”

The Susan J. Rheem Adult Day Centers have contracts with the VA, ALTCS, NACOG, DDD and accept personal long-term care policies to assist paying the daily rate of $75.