What are Adult Day Services?
Adult day services programs offer daytime care for older adults and people with disabilities in a group setting. Participants who have chronic health conditions or who benefit from supervision and socialization may be picked up at their homes or dropped off by family members at the day services program. There they will spend 6–8 hours during the day at a program involved in stimulating activities and interacting with other participants in a safe environment, which helps to eliminate falls and injuries, and greatly reduces boredom and isolation.
Adult day services programs provide a wide range of activities and a safe place for the frail elder to spend the day while the caregiver is working or needs time away from caregiving duties, called respite.
In addition to providing a wide range of activities for people, our program is prescribed by the participant’s physician and provides services such as blood pressure, insulin monitoring and medication reminders.
Q: How many days do I have to attend?
A: We are open six days a week from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. We do encourage a two-day per week minimum (although can be one day). That consistency allows our participants to maintain a routine and acclimate to the program more quickly. In addition, frequent socialization has proven to be of general benefit.
Q: What is your menu like?
A: We provide breakfast, lunch and a snack daily, along with a variety of alternatives, accommodating special diets. See a sample menu here.
Q: What if the person I care for does not like the programs offered?
A: There is a pre-evaluation where the program director gets a full history of interests to address individual needs and suggest alternatives. We look to cover all interests and abilities and are always open to recommendations.
Q: What if the person I care for doesn’t speak or isn’t social?
A: Our staff is trained to initiate socialization with our clients verbally or through nonverbal cues, understanding that most people respond to and from emotion.
How do I encourage my family member to attend an adult day services program?
Resistance and apprehension are natural reactions for anyone faced with a new situation, especially for people who have not been engaged in group social activities recently. In general, it takes about one month for a new person to feel comfortable in a program. While this adjustment period may be challenging for some, in the long run the program is beneficial for the individual and the caregiver.
Different approaches can be used to make attendance a positive experience depending on the individual. When planning a first visit to a program, review the activity calendar and talk to the program staff about a particular interest or activity that your family member has. Finally, a caregiver could refer to the fact that their family member’s doctor has recommended adult day services as a way to enhance general health.
How can I get comfortable letting strangers care for my family member?
Every caregiver needs respite (time for oneself) so he or she can continue to adequately care for his or her frail elderly or disabled relative at home. We can provide a break in your caregiving duties but you, the caregiver, are still responsible for the vast majority of care. You must take care of yourself in order to accomplish this. Once your family member becomes familiar with – and accustomed to – the program, they look forward to new friendships and group interaction. Many studies have shown that adult day services are the best approach, both for the caregiver and for the person living with the health issue.
Do the programs accept people with Alzheimer’s and dementia?
Is there a cost to attend the program?
Costs vary depending on the level of care provided at the program. There are different programs available that charge according to the services they provide. To determine the actual cost for each individual, it is helpful to know if the care recipient receives or is qualified for Masshealth, has long-term care insurance, or other private health insurance, or is a Veteran. Call us to inquire about our services and fee schedule.
What types of activities are usually offered at adult day programs?
All individual and group activities are designed for enjoyment and engagement. Stimulating word games, reminiscent group discussions, exercises, bingo and special celebrations are some of the activities offered.
My mother often naps, is that okay in the program?
Oftentimes people need rest periods as they age. It depends on the program and the reasons for sleep: health problems versus depression, for example. Blaire House does offer a rest area. Make sure you discuss this with the admissions person prior to your loved one attending the program.
Who will help my father with personal issues, such as toileting?
We will take him to the restroom and assist him while here. We will also help him eat, get around, etc. It is important that you relay all of your loved one’s needs to the admissions person so we know what his needs are.
Do the programs provide respite care for the caregiver?
Yes. Many people bring their family member so that they can have time to attend to urgent business errands, meet with friends, exercise, relax, or even read a book. Caregivers often need some time for themselves and other family members.
What about people who do not speak English? Are there programs for them?
Some programs have bilingual and bicultural capabilities. Please inquire with the program of your choice.
How does Adult Day Services differ from a senior center?
People who attend senior centers are usually able to get themselves to and from the center and participate in activities that would be difficult for someone who is frail or has memory impairment. Blaire House participants are there because they may benefit from a modified environment that provides enhanced levels of activity programming, structure and supervision.