Care taking in any capacity is challenging. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia tends to push family caregivers beyond human limits. Along with the physical and mental stress, it’s not unusual for caregivers to feel anger and resentment at the one needing care. They may feel socially isolated due to the stigma and manifestations of the condition and anxiety of knowing this never gets better. Riding the caregiving emotional rollercoaster in and of itself is exhausting and stressful.
That’s why there’s no substitute for caregivers to take time for themselves. One of the best ways to do this is through support from an adult day care center. These centers allow caregivers a complete break, or respite from their routine. They can use that time to run errands, be with family and friends, or simply take an extended nap. This “get away from it all” is critical for maintaining the caregiver’s health. Without it, caregivers are at risk of losing their health.
Most centers focus on specific areas of care:
- Social centers concentrate on meals and recreation while providing some health-related services.
- Medical/health programs provide more intensive health and therapeutic services in addition to social activities.
- Specialized centers take participants who have only a particular condition, such as those diagnosed with dementia.
It’s not unusual to feel guilty or nervous about turning over care to others, even temporarily. That’s why caregivers need to understand what adult day care centers can accomplish.
- It’s standard practice to provide close supervision in a safe environment with built-in security features to prevent wandering. They have employees (paid and volunteer) to take care of the recipients’ needs in a timely manner.
- Based on the center’s focus, they are equipped to prompt and stimulate attendees with performing basic household chores and recreational activities. Common offerings include cooking, volunteer projects, music therapy and arts and crafts. Often these centers have a wider variety of options than family caregivers can do on their own.
- Depending on the level of care provided, centers may assist with daily living activities like eating, toileting and grooming. Some offer medication management and health screenings. Many centers provide nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day.
Activities like these lighten the load for primary / family caregivers. Even more important, it gives them a window of time to catch their breath and to focus on themselves, something we all need…self-care is not selfish. Finally, it allows them to rejuvenate and refresh their efforts so once the recipient is back home; they are in a better place to provide the best loving and compassionate care they can.
This article was submitted by:
The Perfect Place, a 501(c)3, social and recreational adult day care facility in Chandler, AZ, provides a safe, structured environment for socialization and enrichment activities. Its goal is to maintain and improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of its participants. The compassionate and dedicated staff continually assesses participants in order to ensure that their needs are being met.
Learn more at www.tpp-adultdaycare.org or call 480-895-2892.