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Adult Day Care, Pros & Cons
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 8:16 PM
Joined: 2/16/2018
Posts: 299

If anyone has experience with their LO in Adult Day Care, what is your opinion?  Did they enjoy it? What kinds of activities did they have for patients with dementia?  My DH seems happy to just watch TV all day, but I would like to get him more active and socialized.  DH is pretty high functioning, mobile, etc. but has extreme memory loss, cognitive scores in low single digits. Is Adult Day Care even appropriate for him?  My Support Group members speak highly of a local facility.

Would appreciate your thoughts.  

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:06 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 740

Each patient will react differently to adult day care.  Sometimes it will encourage a LO to attend  by telling them they are going to ‘help’ as a volunteer with this non profit group for seniors, instead of telling them details of exactly where + why you are going.  Depending on his level of functioning, he may or may not be able to interact with others, but at the least, it will give you some relief from caretaking.

The only way you will know if it is appropriate for your LO is to try it.

Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 7:28 AM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 4001

We have not tried it yet, but hope to in the not too distant future. The place we looked at is part of the PACE program. They have activities, some for people with cognitive issues, although the program is for anyone, and is not specific to dementia patients. They offer meals, physical therapy if needed, and showers, as well as personal lockers. It looks like a very good program.

My wife is able to walk, but needs to be watched because she is frail and can easily fall. Most of the time she is "with it", although she has periods of confusion. I'm not sure if she will stay in day care, but if she will not, she can still receive in home care as needed. I'm hoping she will become adjusted to day care so she can be with other people and give me time to do things other than being at home all the time.


Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 7:37 AM
Joined: 1/11/2020
Posts: 192

My DHs son and I are trying to get him Medicaid.  If he can get Medicaid, he will join PACE.  I'm hoping PACE (the adult day part) will  be able to get him engaged, etc.  AND everything else about PACE will BIG help.
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 10:06 AM
Joined: 8/8/2014
Posts: 886

My husband attended adult day care for about 18 months. He was the youngest one there (50) but that didn’t seem to bother him. Sometimes he liked it and sometimes he didn’t. When he didn’t like it, I would remind myself that I don’t always like work but I still go. I would encourage him that it would probably be better the next day, or “I’ll talk to them about that.”  I found the people to be very caring and accommodating, and it gave hubby something to do and a safe place to be while I was at work.
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 11:54 AM
Joined: 12/31/2018
Posts: 511

My DH has been going to a day program for just over a year. It's at a MC facility and he is with the full-time residents. (They take up to 2 extra people per day in their program.) He gets lunch and a snack while he's there. They do some stretching and chair exercises each day. They have different activities like the balloon game, coloring, painting, music, etc. Occasionally they go on short field trips or for a scenic drive. At first he sat for the activities even if he couldn't do what they were doing. The last few months he's been pacing most of the time he's there. I can't say he enjoys going, but he doesn't resist going and he's safe, interacting with others, and not sitting in his recliner at home watching TV. And just as importantly, I get a break. I think you just need to try it and see if it's a good fit. Not sure how I'd survive without it. As a side note, I've found it to be a great facility and he's on their waiting list for if/when I need to place him.
Keep It 100
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2020 5:06 AM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 581

My husband goes to a half day respite daycare that is run by our local Methodist church. It is a wonderful program, with a nearly 1 to 1 ratio of (caring and wonderful) staff to attendees most days, additional volunteers who come in for short periods each day, visiting musicians daily... They do art projects, eat lunch together, snack, a monthly paint on pottery project (donated by the local business), light chair exercises, and memory books. The staff are mostly former RNs. My husband gets a lot of attention from the staff and is kept very engaged. At home he would just pace for hours on end, as he cannot read anymore and tv does not hold his attention for more than a minute. I have found respite daycare to be a godsend.
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2020 12:26 PM
Joined: 7/24/2017
Posts: 8

My husband has been going to Adult Daycare for 2yrs.  In the beginning he was resistant.  Many mornings he would tell me he was not going back to "that place" and would complain about the people, the staff and anything else he could conjure up during our 20 minute drive to the center. I was so ambivalent about making him go.  I felt like I was being a bad wife because I was forcing him to do something he didn't want to do.  I brought up this issue at my support group and the group assured me that I wasn't being mean but it was what one of the members said that convinced me that daycare was the right choice.  She said Dh doesn't have the capacity to make healthy decisions
anymore especially decisions that would impact both of us and that unless I wanted to go down the rabbit hole with him I had to take the lead.  She said daycare was good for him but essential and lifesaving for me.  She was right so I kept making him go. 
Two years later he is sometimes still resistant  but usually by the time we walk in it's  like someone flipped a switch and he becomes a social butterfly waving and hugging everyone. I become invisible.  He walks away and doesn't even look back to see where I am.   
Now, whenever I encounter someone who is questioning whether or not daycare will be good for their LO I repeat what that group member said to me  The civilians leading normal lives may think that the rabbit hole is fiction but for us who are living the dream we know that it's real and it's right around the corner.
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:01 PM
Joined: 7/6/2014
Posts: 664

This is a response I posted to someone else who asked about adult day care:

 Lee,RN asked:

 …How do I get him to go into the facility and stay there for a few hours

Here’s what I did with my husband to introduce him to daycare. I had a bunch of old magazines and craft materials that I told him we were gonna donate to an “activity center” and would he help me carry them in. Each time we went, we’d take a little more. The first few times I stayed while the staff  got to know him. In the beginning he went on Tue & Thur for 2 hours. I stayed and played the piano for the clients and he helped move chairs etc. Over time, (about three weeks) the staff found more things for him to do so I faded myself out of the picture. He looked forward to going. As the disease progressed, I started taking him 3 times a week and left him for 6 hours each time. They fed him breakfast, lunch and snacks and kept him entertained. He even had a “girlfriend”. She was 90. He was 70.

This was a medical model as Jo mentioned, run by a hospital. We always referred to it as the “activity center”. He was one of the younger ones but nobody seemed to care about age. They could administer meds. It was a life savor for me. He attended for almost two years before he died. Cost was $10 an hour. So for a 6 hour day it was $60 bucks. WORTH EVERY PENNY. Sometimes I just went home and slept while he was there (especially if we’d had a bad night.) Sometimes I’d go sit at McDonalds and cry in my coffee. Sometimes I would grocery shop or do Dr appts. It was just my free time to do what I needed whatever that might be.

Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:29 PM
Joined: 2/16/2018
Posts: 299

Thank you all for the replies, experiences, tips, etc.  I think I will start DH and see how it goes.
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:49 PM
Joined: 10/31/2019
Posts: 100

This thread has been good for me to read. I have checked out 2 adult day cares, but have yet to sign up. My husband has PD and dementia and I worry about things. Will he "freeze" and not be able to move? Will they forget to give him his meds? I do see the need for me to have a break...I just feel badly. He said he's willing to go for me. That makes it even harder.
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:10 PM
Joined: 2/26/2020
Posts: 1

I tried DH at a day stay.  They called to have me come to pick him up because the other residents were getting nervous.  They asked me to talk to his doctor to adjust his meds.  After 3 weeks on new meds I took him there again.  They called me after 2 hours to pick him up.  This time I was left in the doorway for 10 minutes because no one would answer the bell.  No one even bothered talking to me about the situation.  I don't think I will be bringing him back there. 

The problem is he fights me every time we look at a day facility.  He has early onset Alz is pretty far along.  I think part of his problem is he is looking at the age difference between him and the other people.  I work full time outside the home and really need to find care for him.  I don't feel comfortable having someone in my home because I have a very protective dog.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2020 4:58 AM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 4001

Monica, welcome to the boards. You will find a lot of help, and answers to your questions here. Sorry you are having a rough time with this.

Monica12 wrote:

  I don't feel comfortable having someone in my home because I have a very protective dog.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

If you have a cage for the dog, that could be a good way to start. It won't hurt the dog to be in the cage for a few hours, and you could get some respite time.

If you don't think he will be OK with someone coming in your house for him, you could tell him you need the help with housework or something. PWD will probably be OK with someone coming to help YOU, as long as they are not there for them.

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2020 1:02 PM
Joined: 12/31/2018
Posts: 511

Monica12 wrote:

  I don't think I will be bringing him back there.  The problem is he fights me every time we look at a day facility.  

Monica12, welcome to the forum. Sorry you're experiencing this. I wouldn't take my DH back to that program either. Are you looking at facilities together? If so, maybe you should go by yourself and pick another one that you think might be a better fit for your DH. 

Joe C.
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2020 2:39 PM
Joined: 10/13/2019
Posts: 545


   I don't feel comfortable having someone in my home because I have a very protective dog.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

We have a very protective dog as well, she is not vicious just doesn’t like strangers in our home. I can introduce her to new people and in time get her comfortable with them. When I decided to bring in a caregiver 2 & 1/2 years ago I called a local agency and explained the situation. They said, “we have just the person for you”. My caregiver is a REAL dog person and was comfortable going through the early introduction when our dog was acting very intimidating. After several visits with her giving treats, playing fetch, going for walks and car rides our dog became comfortable with her coming & going from the house. Now I think the the dog likes the caregiver more that me. When she sees her car pulling in the driveway she is ecstatic and runs to the door to greet her with kisses. The caregiver has been a huge help for me. Maybe you could call around and see if any agencies in your area have someone similar.

Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2020 5:32 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 4001

Joe C. wrote:
Maybe you could call around and see if any agencies in your area have someone similar.

THAT is a great piece of advice, Joe!

Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 11:52 AM
Joined: 6/13/2020
Posts: 188

My partner goes to day care each Wednesday. He is 51 and the others are older. I think the youngest is between 65 and 70. It’s not a problem because the professionals are younger.

After visiting it, he was ok to try. He is at ease there. Socializing has always been important for him. At home he is alone while I’m working, at the day care he can discuss and is valued. He can tell his travels, his regatta, what he was doing when he was working... he can’t do that at home. In January we will add one day.

Unfortunately it’s only from 10 am to 4 pm, but as there is also the transportation, with somebody checking that he is ready, that the door is closed... it will be possible to continue when I will have to go to the office again, these 2 days will be a relief for me : i will be able to work without worrying about what happens at home.

I also have a paid caregiver at home (2 afternoons par week), but i find better that he continues to go out, not being always at home, seing different people, perhaps having new friends...

He says it isn’t very interesting and the others are not very implied. He would certainly prefer to do more active activities but there isn’t day cares for EOAD, so we have to do with what we have.

So as long as we can, we will continue the daycare because it’s better for everybody.

Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 12:09 PM
Joined: 11/11/2020
Posts: 5

Is your dog crate trained? Used to riding in the car? When the weather is appropriate, could you take your dog with you and leave him  crated in the car for short periods when you do errands?