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Care Alternatives: Adult Day Services

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Friends Place Adult Day Services

A relatively new idea in caregiving in our area is the adult day service center.

Though senior citizens’ centers in communities across the country have long served seniors by providing lunches, social activities, and sometimes, transportation access, they have not usually been providers of daily, full-day care for seniors who may have medical problems.  Adult day care centers offer the advantage of a group social setting with other services, particularly, personal nursing care.

I recently talked with a director of a local adult day care center, Marylynne Henry about what her center Friends Place Adult Day Services in DeSoto, Texas offers to their clients.

Marylynne said that her center specializes in all-day care for adults over 55 years of age who have dementia or Alzheimer ’s disease. “Our center provides the seniors with social engagement and brain activities, such as book club, trivia and word games, music activities, and therapy animals.  We have groups from the community come in to give talks and presentations.  It’s much like what a senior citizens’ center would ordinarily provide, but with special attention to those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s,” Marylynne said. A nurse is on staff, and medications can be administered. Attention at meals and for personal care may be given.   The center is licensed by the Texas Department of Aging  Alzheimers Concept and Disability Services, a state agency.

For the family and friends who are taking care of these adults,  an adult day care center  provides comfort in knowing that their loved one is getting attention,  has a social life, and is being supervised in a setting appropriate to their needs. “So often, for the senior with dementia, their world gets smaller and smaller,” said Marylynne.

The caregivers are usually spouses or adult children who are usually working outside the home, so a center which is open Monday through Friday fits their work schedules.

Some seniors may have such serious health or mental issues that an adult day care center would be unable to provide the level of care needed.  For example, Marylynne said that Friends Place cannot take seniors who are in a wheelchair, or who have serious mobility restrictions. She also said that elopement is a risk for those with Alzheimer’s.  “We can usually redirect a person who wants to leave, but we do not restrain them,” she said. “It is up to the family to determine if their loved one can benefit from the services we can provide,”  she said.

 

Medicare does not pay for an adult daycare center, but the Veterans’ Administration will pay for veterans’ care in such a center, she said. “Our prices are posted on our website, and we try to make it as economical as possible. If you look at the rate for each hour of care, it comes to about $7 per hour, which is cheaper than you can get quality care at just about any other kind of facility,” Marylynne noted.

Friends Place Adult Day Services offers caregiver education classes throughout the year, and there is a class coming up on handling stress during the holidays. The presentation, “Relax, You Don’t have to Dread the Holidays: Seasonal Tips for Dealing with Dementia” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26,  from 10:30 – 1:00 p.m. at Friends Place, 1232 W. Beltline Road, DeSoto, Texas 75154. Call for a reservation by Oct. 22: 972-274-2484. Lunch and workshop are free.

Why not look into the adult day care centers in your area, and see if the services may be helpful to you and to the one you are caring for daily?