A Guide to Adult Day Services: A Q&A With An Adult Day Services Program Director

CLM 3936

Adult Day Services provide compassionate daily care to adults who need caregiver support and assistance. National Adult Day Services Week, the third week in September, is set aside as a time to recognize adult day service providers across the U.S. and the impact they have on the lives of individuals and their families.

In honor of the week, we spoke with Concordia at Cabot Adult Day Services Coordinator Stefanie Dietrich about what Concordia’s Adult Day Services offers participants as well as family caregivers, and how the program has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stefanie joined the Concordia family in 2002 as a personal care Nurse Aide at Concordia at Cabot and transitioned to her current role in January 2019.

Q: What are Adult Day Services and how can they help an individual and their family members?

Adult Day Services is a program designed for those with physical difficulties and memory impairment. Participants can enjoy socializing with others, feel safe in a cozy home-like environment and receive nutritious meals. Adult Day Services offers peace of mind for their families and caregivers.

Q: What are some ways Adult Day Services support family caregivers?

Caregivers often put the needs of their loved ones before their own. Adult Day Services allows family caregivers the opportunity to work, grocery shop, meet with friends, go to appointments and more. They can do what they need while their loved one is in the care of Adult Day Services. They can find comfort knowing that their mother/father/spouse is in a safe environment receiving the care they need by compassionate staff. Concordia at Cabot even offers a monthly Caregiver Support Group that is open to the public. (The group is currently postponed due to COVID-19).

Q: When should families consider Adult Day Services for their loved one?

Families should consider Adult Day Services when they are noticing changes in their loved ones’ mood, behaviors, fine motor skills and sleep patterns. Caregivers cannot do it all on their own. From laundry, managing medications, working, bill paying and maintaining their own relationships. While their loved one attends Adult Day Services, this gives them that time to complete their own tasks.

Q: What are some questions a family should ask when looking into Adult Day Programs?

Some questions you should ask when looking for an Adult Day Services program for your loved one are:

  1. Is Adult Day Services paid for by insurance? – The answer is typically no. Adult Day Services are generally private pay, out of pocket. At Concordia at Cabot Adult Day Services, the program is private pay but we offer half and full day rates. We can accommodate to your scheduled and needs. Some financial assistance may be available through the local Area Agency on Aging.
  2. What is the enrollment process like? – The participant will typically need a physical completed by their primary care physician as well as a TB test. There is also necessary paperwork to be completed prior to admission.

Q: What are the benefits of Adult Day Services?

One of the biggest benefits of Adult Day Services is that the participant experiences increased self-esteem and purpose. Caregivers often see less loneliness in their loved one. They come to the center and find joy participating in activities that they may not be able to do at home. They engage with staff and other participants with reminiscing, singing and storytelling. In fact, the increased activity can lead to better sleep patterns for the participant. Daily routine and structure are very important in maintaining cognitive health.

Q: What specific daily amenities and accommodations does Concordia at Cabot Adult Day Services Provide?

We offer nutritious meal and snack choices that comply with any diet. Sometimes caregivers find bathing their loved one uncomfortable or difficult, so bathing services are available upon request. We have a structured toileting regimen to help maintain continence. Daily devotions and weekly visits from the Concordia Chaplaincy staff are also available to participants.

Q: What is the staff to participant ratio and what daily activities are offered?

We have one staff member to seven participants. This allows for a large variety of activities. The participants enjoy music, games, crafts, exercise, Bible studies and many others. Trivia games and Bingo are just a few favorites! Adult Day Services has an outdoor patio that everyone enjoys during nice weather. Oftentimes, decorating the center for seasons and holidays brings back fond memories and joy.

Q: Has COVID-19 changed the way services are provided, and what accommodations have been made to ensure participants in the program remain safe?

The safety of the participants is our number one priority. Participants are screened before they enter the center by our staff. We monitor temperatures, coughs and other symptoms. Anyone with a fever of 100 or greater cannot enter the center. In the event that a participant begins to show symptoms during the day, the center has a designated area away from other participants until their caregiver is able to take them home. Staff clean and sanitize all frequently touched surfaces often throughout the day. Handwashing is extremely important and encouraged.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add?

Concordia at Cabot Adult Day Services is open to the community and accepting new participants. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Our kind and knowledgeable staff receive ongoing training. The center follows all Department of Aging regulations. Participants are monitored for changes and care plans are updated regularly. Communication is a vital part of caring for your loved one and the Adult Day Services staff will review all updated care plans with you.

To learn more about how Concordia Adult Day Services can provide your loved one with quality, compassionate care – visit the Adult Day Services page of our website or call our Adult Day Services Program Coordinator at 724-352-1571, ext. 8271. You can also message us through the contact form on our website 24 hours a day.

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