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Beacon of HOPE Wellness Committee: Choosing an adult day center for someone with dementia

August 14, 2019
Pine Island Eagle

Adult day centers are designed to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled. There are specific day centers to meet the needs of individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementias that will support the person's strengths, abilities and independence. They offer opportunities to be social and to participate in activities in a safe environment. Adult day centers also give caregivers a break from caregiving. While the person with dementia is at a center, the caregiver will have time to rest, run errands or finish other tasks.

Adult day centers can vary. Consult a variety of sources to find a center that is suitable for people living with dementia. Plan a visit to observe and ask questions. While visiting, notice if individuals are engaged in activities and if staff members treat each person as an individual with unique needs. Keep an open mind. You may first want to visit without the person with dementia, then visit together for lunch or an activity. Consider using its services at least twice a week for a month before making a final decision. While some people may resist going to the center at first, they often look forward to the visit after several weeks of attending, meeting people and joining in activities. If the adult day center does not seem to be working out, consider reintroducing it again after some time.

When choosing an adult day center, there are a number of factors to consider, including the staff, environment, programs and type of services available. The following list of questions may be helpful when checking out a day center.

- Does the center provide specific services for individuals living with dementia?

- Will the center evaluate the person's needs, interests and abilities?

- How will this evaluation be accomplished and how often will it be repeated?

- Will medical needs, social and family history, cognitive functioning and social skills be assessed?

Be sure the center offers the programs and services that you and the person with dementia need. We will discuss these services next month. For more information regarding assistance with adult day centers, visit

The Beacon of HOPE hosts an Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Group every third Monday of the month at 10 a.m.

The Beacon of HOPE is at 5090 Doug Taylor Circle, St James City. Call 239-283-5123 for additional information.



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