As our population ages and health care dollars must stretch, it is of the utmost importance that providers and advocates of Adult Day Services have a full understanding of the proven benefits of these programs in order to inform consumers, legislators, regulators and managed care companies regarding the unparalleled value of attending an Adult Day Service program. As providers of Adult Day Services, we have an inherent understanding of the benefits; we are with participants daily, seeing the stroke victim taking his first steps in three years, experiencing the deep gratitude of the caregivers of those suffering with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, watching the participant who stated she hadn’t smiled in six-months, suffering from depression, smiling and laughing with her peers. We know our participants utilize the emergency rooms less, fall fewer times, maintain their blood sugars better and take fewer anti-depressants than they would have if they didn’t attend the center, but we have only anecdotal evidence. Proof and knowledge are better and we need to be able to quote it.
Many studies have been completed that indicate the services we provide may fight the onset or slow the progression of dementia: “Leisure Activities in Late Life in Relation to Dementia Risk” and “Total Daily Physical Activity and the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults”
All services provided in an Adult Day Center support the improved health of the participants both directly through health services, exercise program, nutritious meals, social work and psychological counseling, socialization and therapeutic activities (to name a few), as well as indirectly on the caregivers: “Effect of Adult Day Care on Daily Stress of Caregivers”. This study also indicated that dementia related behavior problems decreased and sleep improved for participants who received Adult Day Services. The manual; “Cognitive Optimization for Adult Day Services“. is designed for those adult day service providers interested in providing the highest level of cognitively stimulating programing for their participants.
Take the time to read the studies, and to become informed of the proven benefits of Adult Day Services. The better informed we are, the better we can educate our funding sources and the public regarding the vast benefits of our program.