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More workers dropping adult parents at day care

A friend of mine called me in tears one day. She needed her job. She wanted her elderly mom to live with her. But she didn't trust mom home alone when she went to work. She ended up bringing her mother to an adult day care center during the day. 

Most of us know by now that elder care is going to be huge issue as baby boomers age. But did you ever consider dropping mom or dad off at day care when you go to work?

Senior day care is the latest trend. Modeled after childcare centers, adult centers provide all kinds of activities during the day. The advantage is that mom or dad can live with you, the caregiver, and have somewhere to go during the day where they are supervised and stimulated while you go to the office.

In response to demand, there has been significant growth in the number of Adult Day Services centers in the U.S. over the past eight years, according to a new study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.  There are more than 4,600 Adult Day Services (ADS) centers nationwide, a 35% increase since 2002, according to "The MetLife National Study of Adult Day Services: Providing Support to Individuals and Their Family Caregivers"   

Apparently, the trend is so hot that there are waiting lists. Twenty-nine percent of the centers have waiting lists.  More than half of the participants (58%) are women; 30% are under age 65.

The good news for anyone considering this option is that centers have significantly upgraded the level of services they provide, according to the consumer guide, "The Essentials: Adult Day Services"

Here are a few facts about Adult Day Services from the MetLife Study I thought you would find interesting:

  • Elderlyparent Most operate Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in a 1,000-5,000 square foot facility.  Centers are usually administered by a professional in the business/health care administration, nursing or social work field.  Professional services are provided by a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and recreational and therapy professionals.  The typical direct care worker-to-program participant ratio is 1:6.
  • Fees average $61.71 per day and typically come from a public source, including Medicaid waiver, the Veterans Administration, state/local social services or directly from a private-pay participant.  Since the average daily cost of care is $68.89 per person, centers supplement revenue with grants and donations.
  • Though participants are diverse in age, ethnicity and ability, the average participant is a 65-plus-year-old, white female with dementia, hypertension or a physical disability requiring assistance with at least one activity of daily living (ADL) and medication management.  She lives with an adult child or spouse, or lives alone, but primarily receives care from an adult child.
  • The average length of enrollment in a program is 24 months.
  • The majority of the ADS centers (86%) reported they were state-certified or licensed, a 10% increase from 2002.
  • The study reports an increase in the number of for-profit ADS centers.  Currently, 27% are for profit today, compared with 22% in 2002.

Would you consider dropping a parent or family member at an Adult Daycare? Do you think it would add stress or lessen the stress in your life?