Adult Day Care Centers Fastest Growing Senior Care Segment

The adult day care industry is growing rapidly, according to a study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute released on October 12, 2010. The number of adult day care centers in the U.S. has increased by 35 percent in the past eight years, and the number of older adults participating in adult day services has nearly doubled. Today, there are more than 4,600 adult day centers nationwide, and the number continues to grow. Adult Day Care

The MetLife study, “The MetLife National Study of Adult Day Services: Providing Support to Individuals and Their Family Caregivers,” was conducted in collaboration with the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) and The Ohio State University College of Social Work, reports that adult day centers serve over 260,000 individuals — 100,000 more than the number of people served in 2002.

Twenty-nine percent of adult day facilities have waiting lists, and the adult day care industry has also broadened its service offerings. Half of all adult day care centers have an on-staff social worker, and 80 percent have professional nursing staff. Therapies are also offered by about half of centers, including physical, speech, and occupational therapy.

Nearly all adult day centers offer cognitive stimulation programs (90%), and 80% offer memory training. Services aren’t limited to individuals; many centers provide education, support groups and resources for family caregivers as well. Since 2002, the ratio of direct-care workers to participants has decreased from 1:8 to 1:6, meaning participants receive more individualized attention.

Adult day services provide a viable solution for many families who are helping a loved one who is aging at home. Families who are able to move a loved one into their home may still face challenges when the adults living in the home must continue to work outside the home, and adult day care services fill this gap. Additionally, adult day care can serve as a reprieve for stressed caregivers and as an opportunity for seniors to socialize and receive therapy services.

Funding for adult day care often comes from a public source, such as  a Medicaid waiver or Veterans benefits. Read our article on Adult Day Care, written by home care expert Mary S. Yasmin-Garone, for more information, or read the full report from the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

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