No matter how much you may care for and be responsible for an Alzheimer’s disease patient, you will no doubt eventually need some assistance in caring for your patient. This may be on a temporary basis for a few hours or may need to be on a more regular basis, such as for when you work. Finding Alzheimer’s day care requires that you keep certain thoughts in mind before signing up your parent or spouse.
It’s important to remember that there is a difference between adult day care and Alzheimer’s day care. Not every adult day care facility is capable of taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s. Some adult day care facilities are there simply as a recreational facility for seniors, something like a safe place for them to “hang out” while their adult children are at work. Finding Alzheimer’s day care means finding a facility that is completely capable of taking care of the mental and physical needs of an Alzheimer’s patient.
Some Alzheimer’s day care facilities are part of an actual nursing home or hospital, and so are staffed with those that specialize in medical care. These are not permanent residences for their patients of course, as they are still expected to go home at night, just like any other day care. Some provide transportation to and from their center as well.
When selecting an Alzheimer’s day care, you will need to be clear about how limited your patient is or isn’t. For example, many in the early stages of Alzheimer’s need only limited supervision, while those in the later stages may need constant care and supervision. Alzheimer’s does eventually affect the patient physically, as they begin to develop problems swallowing, sitting up, and so on. Since each patient is different in their particular needs, you must make sure that any potential Alzheimer’s day care center is capable of handling the disease to the degree that it’s affecting your parent or spouse.
Thoroughly check out any potential Alzheimer’s day care facilities just as you would a child’s day care. Walk through it to check on its cleanliness and see how the other patients seem. How many caregivers do they have versus how many patients? Do they provide meals and assistance eating? Are they capable of handling the hygiene and bathroom issues of your particular patient?
You can also ask your doctor for a referral to a local Alzheimer’s day care facility.