Your parents are aging.
Dementia/Alzheimer’s has crept in and created havoc in both your lives and theirs. Suddenly you realize they are no longer safe at home. As you ponder your options, things become very real. You may begin facing a gruesome reality… moving your loved one from their home. As you start your homework and weigh out your options, you start to realize the costs and challenges involved in placing a loved with in a nursing home or assisted living. Costs for long term care range from $6–$10K per month. Most facilities also will not offer Medicaid until a resident has been there for years to even be considered an option for payment. You also have to get your mom or dad on board with your decision that they will likely fight you on, regardless of whether or not it’s in their best interest.
However, to many, the best option remains unknown to most… adult medical daycare. Very much like the daycare your kids went to when they were small, adult day care focuses on a secure, safe environment that caters to the cognitive abilities of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as other medical conditions. A licensed RN and social worker are always on staff as well as licensed caregivers to help with the daily needs of the clients. There are hot meals and a full day filled with arts and crafts, exercise, and plenty of activities to keep them stimulated. Clients can even shower at the facility. At most centers, there is transportation to and from the center. And unlike long term care facilities, most adult day centers will accept Medicaid as a form of payment. At Buckingham Place Adult Day Center in Monmouth Junction, NJ there are several payment options for clients, such as a NJ grant that offers a sliding scale payment to those who might not necessarily qualify for Medicaid.
Far and beyond, the biggest benefit to your loved one is that they will get to go home at night. Unlike having to transition into a nursing facility, transitioning into an adult day center is much less stressful on the person because when the day ends they get to see their families, go back to their spouse, pets, friends, and mostly relax in familiar surroundings. Many clients see their day as if they were going to work or school again. The routine of getting up, going out the door and getting home at night is a reminder of their younger days.
Of course, there are times when a parent or a relative simply needs the care of a nursing facility, however, for many, adult day care remains a very feasible and valuable option. At the very least, it will put off that awful decision of “where should I send mom?” or “how are we going to tell her it’s time to move?” In adult day care, they don’t have to move, they can still be stimulated with activities, friends and receive quality care, yet be able to stay in their homes. An option most don’t even know exists.