Adult Day Care – Benefits for Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers

Adult day care can be an important part of caring for an elderly patient or a loved one, even more so with Alzheimer’s patients. Adult day care is respite care provided by professionals outside of the home. It can greatly benefit both the patient and the caregiver.

Do Alzheimer’s Patients Require Specialized Adult Day Care?

All adult day care provides a break for the caregiver as well as supervision and a safe environment for the patient. Some day care programs specialize in the care of patients with all types of dementia in various stages. Others specialize more narrowly in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

It is best to find dementia or Alzheimer’s specific day care programs. These are the most likely to have activities geared toward dementia or Alzheimer’s patients and staff trained to work with them.

An Alzheimer’s specific adult day care will often provide more support for families. They also emphasize therapeutic recreation rather than clinical or rehabilitation services which are typically provided by generalized adult day care.

Adult Day Care - Benefits for Alzheimer's Patients and Caregivers

Adult day care can be particularly beneficial for patients in the early stage of Alzheimer’s. At this point, they still retain some good cognitive and social skills. This usually makes the adjustment to adult day care and new people easier for the patient. There has also been evidence that the stimulation provided by day care can slow the cognitive decline associated with the disease.

While still beneficial to the patient, day care can be particularly useful to the caregiver during the middle stages of Alzheimer’s. This is when the intensity of care increases and the caregiver faces a greater risk of becoming burnt out.

When a patient reaches the final stages of the disease, they tend to be unable to manage personal care task without assistance. People in the final stage of the disease tend to be unable to manage daily care tasks without help and may become non-verbal.

While adult day care can still provide relief for the caregiver, when a patient has entered the final stages of Alzheimer’s, respite care may no longer be sufficient for either the patient or the caregiver. 24/7 caregiving, even with a few hours off here and there can be overwhelming and the frequent changes of environment can agitate the patient. Unfortunately, constant care provided by a nursing home may become necessary.

Can the Patient’s Spouse Attend Adult Day Care Too?

Some adult day care programs will accommodate both the dementia or alzheimer’s patient and their spouse if they suffer from age-related disabilities or are not the patient’s caregiver. A healthy spouse may feel out of place in a dementia or Alzheimer’s specific program. While it may be possible for a healthy spouse to volunteer at the adult day care facility, it depends on the individual program.

Adult Day Care - Benefits for Alzheimer's Patients and Caregivers

It is important to keep in mind that one of the main purposes of adult day care is to give the caregiver a break. Remaining with a spouse suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s while they are at adult day care defeats this purpose.

The spouse providing care needs to take a break to recharge and take care of themselves, enabling to care for their loved one properly and with patience.  Even if a couple prefers being together, limited separation while one attends day care can benefit both of them.

Signature Senior Services provides seniors the supervision and comfort they need while their caregivers tend to other daily responsibilities such as work and family activities. Our medical adult day care is fully equipped to handle the difficulties faced by those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and provide all-in-one quality healthcare.  To see how we can assist you and your loved one, contact us today.


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