Adult day services: An option for the working caregiver

It’s amazing to realize that the first Baby Boomers will be turning 65 in 2011. Regardless of where you fall in the Boomer timeline or how healthy and active you are, it is nevertheless a shock to realize that many of us soon will be in line with our parents, Medicare cards in hand, to seek services for the aging of themselves and possibly ourselves.

Adult day services (ADS) centers have been around for some time and have been a boon to working family members who care for aging parents. Whether the ADS centers are stand-alone, independent programs or are affiliated with a long-term campus, they have enabled Boomers peace of mind while they continue to fulfill the need to provide for their own families.


That said, aging-in-place will continue to be an attractive option for the growing population of seniors. To meet this present need and future demand, a study by MetLife Mature Market Institute, in collaboration with the National Adult Day Services Association and The Ohio State University College of Social Work, has shown a 35% increase of ADS centers nationwide.

Findings from the MetLife National Study of Adult Day Services: Providing Support to Individuals and Their Family Caregivers also showed an increase in staffing and services provided over the past 10 years. The report states that 80% of ADS centers have a professional nursing staff and 50% employ a social work professional. In many of these centers physical, occupational, and speech therapy is available. Other programs that might be offered are support services for family caregivers. ADS centers also help to transition clients from short-term rehab to home in addition to providing long-term care services.

Some facts about the typical ADS center:

· Hours of operation: generally Monday through Friday

· Average participant is 65+ years old

· The majority of centers are state-certified or licensed

· Average length of enrollment is 24 months

As long-term care organizations plan future service expansions, incorporating ADS centers on campuses can be a new source of assistance to the community as well as a revenue stream for the organization. Many CCRCs do have ADS in place. Are you currently providing this care option? If not, this could be an idea worth exploring.

The MetLife study can be downloaded here.

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