What Are Adult Day Care Programs? The Caring Generation®
The Caring Generation® – Episode 53 August 26, 2020. On this caregiver radio program, Pamela D Wilson, caregiving expert answers the question What Are Adult Day Care Programs? Learn about how adult day care services offer elderly assistance and support for caregivers. Guest, Dr. Jeffrey Hall Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas shares his research about How to Make Friends at Any Age.
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What Are Adult Day Care Programs?
00:04 Announcer: Caregiving can sometimes feel like an impossible struggle. Caregivers may be torn between taking care of loved ones and trying to maintain balance in life. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. The Caring Generation with host Pamela D. Wilson is here to focus on the conversation of caring. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in exactly the right place to share stories and learn tips and resources to help you and your loved ones. So now, please welcome the host of The Caring Generation, Pamela D. Wilson.
00:47 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host on The Caring Generation radio program, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network Channel 100 and TuneIn Radio. The Caring Generation focuses on conversations about health, well-being, career, caring for ourselves and loved ones, all tied together with humor and laughter that are essential to being a caregiver.
01:12 Pamela D. Wilson: During this program, we will answer the caregiving question what are adult day care programs, and how do these provide elderly assistance for older adults and their caregivers? Adult day care services are a lesser-known alternative to help caregivers keep elderly parents and spouses at home. If you are a caregiver struggling with stress, feelings of overwhelm, feeling guilty that you’re not doing enough, health issues, realizing that you don’t have enough time for yourself, plus you want to get your life back, stay with me for the answer to what are adult day care programs? This might be a great solution for you.
01:54 Pamela D. Wilson: As we know, when we talk—caregivers often give up their lives to care for elderly parents, spouses, or brothers and sisters. Many caregivers stop participating in favorite activities. You give up your hobbies. You also give up your friends. On the subject of how to make friends at any age, our guest for the health and wellness segment of this caregiving radio program is Dr. Jeffrey Hall. He is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, and he’s also the Director of the Relationships and Technology lab. He’s the former chair of the Human Communications and Technology division of the National Communication Association, and the founding editor of Human Communication and Technology. He is also the author of a newly released book. It’s called Relating Through Technology, and it’s available through Cambridge University Press.
02:50 Pamela D. Wilson: This book answers one of the questions that we talk about all the time: Does mobile and social media lead to a more personal connection with one another—or does all of this technology distance us, make us have fewer conversations, fewer get-togethers and less quality in our day-to-day relationships? We’ll talk about this subject during our interview with Dr. Hall. So let’s begin to answer the question: What are adult day care programs?
03:23 Pamela D. Wilson: Adult day care programs—also called adult day care services—are locations where parents and spouses can go for the day to receive a number of different types of elderly assistance. Adult day care services can be provided in a single building within a care community, like an assisted living community, or at a separate setting like a PACE Center. I’ll talk more about PACE. It’s spelled P-A-C-E, known as The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. We will talk more about this in the second half of this caregiver radio program.
04:00 Pamela D. Wilson: Usually, though, when somebody asks, “what are adult day care programs?” There might be some hesitance because the first thought is usually a child day care program. Let’s be honest, few people—no matter their age—want to be put in a category of needing day care. This idea is similar to the concept of an elderly parent going to a senior center. If you’ve ever had that conversation, you know how that goes. Because elderly parents don’t feel like they are a senior. Only old people go to senior centers. Talking to an elderly parent about what are adult day care programs can stretch caregivers’ skills of persuasion.
04:41 Pamela D. Wilson: Adult day care services have a lot to offer for working and exhausted caregivers. Here’s the idea to remember. Caregivers—you work hard. Many of you are working full-time or part-time jobs, and then you spend another 20, 30, 40 hours a week caregiving, and you rarely have time off. If you want to remain in a caregiving role, it’s important to practice self-care and self-love. It’s okay to love yourself and make you a priority. Which is where adult day care service centers come into the idea of planning for elderly assistance.
05:16 Pamela D. Wilson: That first answer to what are adult day care programs is help for the care receiver and the caregiver that helps preserve your relationship. Adult day care services are one solution to feeling angry, resentful, and cynical about the responsibility you accepted to care for an aging family member. If you are early in the caregiving experience, you might think, “Oh, I never feel that way.” Ten or twenty years down the road, it’s “Oh my gosh.” Yes—believe it or not, caregiving can span decades. You might feel differently, even if you have an elderly parent or an appreciative spouse. As the years pass, ccaregiving can take a toll on the physical and emotional health of the caregiver. It’s proven by research.
06:00 Pamela D. Wilson: The second answer to what are adult day care programs is a diversion for family caregivers, elderly parents, and spouses, who might sit alone at home all day and not have anything to do. Social isolation, inactivity—are not good for the body and mind. We talked about the negative aspects of social isolation in a recent caregiving radio show. Older adults who are socially active have a more positive outlook on life. They’re healthier. What are adult day care programs? It’s a solution for social isolation. I hear you. Your parents will say, “Oh, I don’t mind being alone. I want to stay home by myself. I don’t need to go out.” Think back to your first day of school. Did you want to go? Probably not. I don’t think any of us did. Were you kicking and screaming? Maybe you were even crying. Did your antics break your mom or dad’s heart? Probably.
06:51 Pamela D. Wilson: Have you been in this situation with yourself and your children? What did you do? If you’re like most parents, you scooted your children off to school, and after a few days or maybe a couple of weeks, guess what? Your children adjusted, and they actually liked going to school. The benefits of elderly assistance and adult day care services are beneficial for your parents and spouses and you. Will there be some resistance? Probably yes. Are there benefits? Absolutely yes. When caregivers look back at their experience, many are relieved that they stood their ground and made the choice to investigate what are adult day care programs. The third answer to what are adult day care programs relates to the scope of time that a family member can attend. Most programs run Monday through Friday. Some adult day care service locations offer Saturday and Sunday care. All programs have a half-day rate and a full-day rate. A half-day rate might be something like 7:30 or 8:00 to noon or 1:00 and a full day, sometimes as early as 6:30 a.m. all the way to pick up time at 6:00 in the evening. The goal is to give caregivers, especially working caregivers, a break.
08:02 Pamela D. Wilson: This type of elderly assistance program has the goal of keeping your aging parent at home by helping you, the caregiver, not to get exhausted. Home is where our elderly parents and spouses want to live. Let’s say that a parent refuses to consider adult day care programs. Conversation point might be, “This is an option to help you stay at home. You don’t do well all day alone. I have to work. I worry about you,” or even something like, “I need a break a couple of days a week. Can we compromise to make this work out? Otherwise, the alternative might be to move you out of the home to a care community.” Talk about the consequences of being flexible and working together on choices. Up next, we have Dr. Jeffrey Hall, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, on the subject of how to make friends at any age. Practical tips for caregivers and aging adults are in my Caring for Aging Parents Caregiving Blog on my website, at www.PamelaDWilson.com. You’re with me on The Caring Generation live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back.
11:30 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host on The Caring Generation radio show for caregivers and aging adults, live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Joining us is Dr. Jeffrey Hall to talk about making friends at any age. Dr. Hall, thank you for joining us this evening.
11:48 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: It is a pleasure to be here.
11:51 Pamela D. Wilson: So—let’s start by talking about what are the benefits of having friends?
11:56 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Well, the benefits of having friends are so multifold that it’s almost hard to even count them. Friendship predicts having a quality life. Friendship predicts having a longer life. Friendship predicts having a more meaningful life, and friendships actually even predict having a better health—like a better healthy life.
12:13 Pamela D. Wilson: And so as we age, I think our ability to make friends might be different. People who are 20 years old may have a different ability to make friends, maybe than somebody in their 60s. How does that ability to change happen, and how does that affect us?
12:30 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: One of the things to think about with friendship is there’s really a couple of ingredients that need to happen in order for friendships to form. One of them is that you have to have access to people who are open to making friends. So that one thing that happens when people are young adults, they have the opportunity to meet a lot of different people from different backgrounds. The second thing that’s needed to happen when you want to make friends is you have to have time. You have to be able to be able to invest time in another person. One thing that actually is very similar between people who have gone through period of retirement and also somebody who is in their 20s is they actually tend to have more time on their hands in order to form friends and be able to make those kind of relationships. But the third ingredient to really to make friends is actually to find something that you want to do together. Now, sometimes that can be you just want to talk and hang out with somebody, but it might be an activity that you enjoy doing together. The good news is that although the activities may change as people age, the need to actually find things to do that you enjoy with someone else always is with us.
13:27 Pamela D. Wilson: And a lot of people move around these days. So, many people leave the home and the city where they were born, and we’re a very mobile society. How does moving about to a new city change friendships that we have, and then also the ability to make new friends?
13:44 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Yes, so moving is really an opportunity to both make friends, and it’s also, unfortunately, a place in which people lose friends. Study after study has really confirmed this issue that what happens is—is when we have regular contact with a group of people, we tend to have an orientation towards relating to them. It’s a little different when we don’t expect to see them ever again. So people that you expect to see a lot, we tend to actually invest more into them. Learn more about them in a gradual sort of way, but when we have an attitude where we’re just going to pick up and leave or basically know that our time is short, people tend to be less willing to be open to meeting new people.
14:20 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: So one of the things that’s kind of unfortunate is that when people lose those opportunities for routine, easy contacts—whether that be leaving your home town, leaving the school that you went to, leaving a job, leaving a neighborhood, all of those things disrupt our ability to be able to keep those friendships alive. One of the things that I’ve studied a lot is how people actually use mediated communication and otherwise to keep those friendships intact over time and space. But it’s really a challenge. So what’s interesting though, is when you move to a new place or start a new job or a new school or a new church, you have the opportunity to meet new people. So it’s kind of a double-edged sword. In some sense, you actually have an opportunity to create new relationships when you move. But maintaining those old relationships is actually very difficult, and very few people actually do it successfully.
15:06 Pamela D. Wilson: You mentioned media, social media—Twitter, Facebook, all those sites. How does that affect friendships? I’ve known some that have flourished, and then I’ve known people who have unfriended people because they didn’t like what they were posting. What effect does that have on friendships?
15:21 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Yes, so what’s very interesting is the research on social media says that the types of people who we’re going to maintain on social media tend to be people who we’re actually not terribly close to. So if you just interact with them through social media, or you just look at their pictures that they put up of their children or their grandchildren or activities that they’re doing, you really tend to reserve that kind of observing and interacting through social media for that type of relationship. People who you tend to be more close to, you actually reach out what’s called in a multi-modal fashion, meaning it might be somebody who you see on social media. But you also get together with face-to-face, and you also call them occasionally, or you text them as well.
16:02 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: So what’s interesting here is that there’s a well-known phenomenon that says, the closer we are to someone, the more likely we are to use multiple media to keep in touch with them. So social media relationships give us the opportunity to kind of just people watch. One of the things that I think about when I think about social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram to a lesser extent, is that it’s an opportunity to catch up on the lives of others and observe what’s going on with them. But it isn’t really a mechanism for maintaining that rich, meaningful interactive friendship that people tend to treasure, and also research says it’s really good for our health and well-being.
16:35 Pamela D. Wilson: That’s interesting. So what are steps that people can take to initiate making new friends?
16:41 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Yes, a lot of this comes down to the willingness or an openness to even begin the process of making friends. Story after story that I saw—and people tell me when I go and talk to people about my research on friendship—really comes down to this fact that people actually hit it off with others a lot. You find somebody that you meet. You meet them through a social group, a church, an organization, through work, or you kind of hit it off in the sense of you like spending time with them. You like to do something with them.
17:08 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: However, in the United States, we tend to have this kind of discomfort that comes with inviting someone to do something with us. What’s interesting is I think we’re going through a generational shift. Where the sort of normal mechanisms of how we might go about building a friendship as an adult are kind of changing. There was a time in which that inviting somebody to go and have dinner with your family or whatever was a way to initiate friendship—or invite them to spend time with you in that kind of way. I don’t see that happening as much again. For people who are building adult friendships—instead, they look for ways to get out and do things together. While that’s a good thing, on one hand, it also creates new challenges in the sense that if we don’t actually find ways to spend time with somebody, we’re unlikely to ever build a friendship.
17:53 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: So one of the key factors for people—one of the things I recommend, is if you find somebody who you really want to be friends with, you actually have to take risks. You have to invite them to do things with you and take the risk that they may not be able to. The other thing I’d say is make sure you follow up. When someone says, “Hey, you know, we should get together,” make sure you follow up and get together.
18:12 Pamela D. Wilson: And that is so important because I was in a situation a couple of months ago where that happened to me, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I have to call that person.” And it was somebody that I hadn’t met before, and we have become really good friends. But I think that a lot of people fall into that trap, like you say, of we get busy, we don’t follow up, and then time goes by, and maybe we feel guilty that we didn’t call that person, and then it just kind of all ends.
18:33 Pamela D. Wilson: So, listeners, we are heading out to a break. We’re going to continue to talk to Dr. Jeffrey Hall after this break and, Dr. Hall, if you want to think about this question. You made me think about the differences between female and male friendships, so I want to ask you that when we get back and what the differences are there. Dr. Hall has just released a new book. It’s called Relating Through Technology. I’ll put a link in this transcript to the show. I’m Pamela D. Wilson on The Caring Generation, live on the BBM Global Network Channel 100 and TuneIn Radio. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.
21:20 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host on the Caring Generation on the BBM Global Network, channel 100, and TuneIn radio. We’re back to continue our conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Hall about making friends. Dr. Hall talk about the differences between male and female friendships and how we maintain these friendships.
21:39 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Yes. One of the very first projects I did actually looked at the difference between men and women’s expectations of friends, and also boys and girls expectations of friends. And what we found was that there’s a couple of really key distinctions. One thing is that women tend to have higher expectations of self-disclosure. So they tend to be much more likely to disclose information and to relate to one another on that kind of more talking level. By comparison, men tend to actually have relationships that, although they value loyalty and they value things like commitment in the same way that women did, they tended to have relationships that were more based on, kind of activity-based or things that they would want to do together.
22:16 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: So although both men and women’s relationships actually enjoy spending time together, the types of activities that they do together actually differs quite a bit. And I suspect that one of the reasons that women have an easier time maintaining friendships into adulthood by comparison to men is that women are actually quite comfortable picking up the phone and talking to somebody from a long way away, and men maybe just not accustomed of that. They’re not as familiar with what it means to just maintain a relationship through talk. Because they’ve been accustomed for many, many years, even as seen through childhood of developing friendships based on time spent together doing a similar activity or time spent side by side.
22:53 Pamela D. Wilson: And you mentioned that to make friendships we need access and time. COVID has definitely—it’s given us more time in some ways, but it’s limited access. So how has COVID affected making friends or maintaining friendships?
23:05 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Now, COVID has fundamentally changed our ability to have relationships with people outside our home, at least during the shelter in place period particularly. But as it carries on and it’s so important that we maintain social distancing guidelines and going out together. It’s just not an option the way it once was. In fact, my research would suggest that about two-thirds of all of our interactions took place with people who were out and about in our lives, right? A third of our interactions were people who we lived with, and two-thirds were people who are out in our communities, at our jobs, at our workplaces, at our school, and those are all gone. So what happened was all of those relationships which used to be maintained by just popping your head into someone’s office and saying, “Hey, how was your weekend?” Or seeing them in the hallway and saying, “What have been up to?” Those sorts of relationships really had to become very intentional, and a lot of folks found themselves in a position where they’re really longing for social contact. They’re missing that easy, comfortable conversation they had with people that was once there.
24:00 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: What’s interesting that I found is one other thing, specific to friendship that’s been very curious. Is early in on the pandemic, it seems that there were a lot of people who were reaching out to the far reaches of their friendship network. They were getting back in touch with people who they hadn’t talked to for a long time. They were trying to find opportunities to Zoom chat and get together. But strange is as time sort of went on, those sort of initial tendencies towards re-connection went away. And I suspect there’s kind of two reasons why. One is, is that you were reaching out to people who you weren’t in a routine to keep in touch with—to begin with. So it’s hard to build a routine out of nothing. And I think the second reason was it became kind of an odd sort of thing. Because all you did was talk about how awful the COVID pandemic has been, and how difficult it is. And I think a lot of those conversations lost steam because a lot of them were just so dire.
24:45 Pamela D. Wilson: How much time does it take to make, let’s say, a casual friend and then a good friend?
24:49 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: So my research on the number of hours it takes to make a friend estimates that about 40 to 60 hours is the time spent with somebody just to become a casual friend with them. The way that I looked at this was both tracking adults who had moved across the country—usually for a new job, sometimes for a divorce or retirement. But people who are basically geographically relocated. And I asked, “Name somebody that you’ve met before or met since—excuse me—you’ve moved and what kind of relationship do you have with them and how much time you spend with them?” So just to make a casual friend, it’s usually about 40 to 60 hours. After that, it takes about 80 to 100 hours to make someone who you might call a friend, and it takes over 200 hours to make a relationship that you would call a best friend or a close friend.
25:30 Pamela D. Wilson: What about people who are, let’s say, not as social or maybe elderly who can’t get out of their homes as much. What suggestions do you have for those people to make friends?
25:42 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Well, it’s lot of times that we forget, and we think about the process of friendship building—that we think of it as just a matter of personality. One thing I can tell you is the research is very clear that people who are introverted, for example, can actually form very, very deep friendships and have enduring relationships with people. So they tend to be a little more choosy and picky about who they become friends with. But they really have very dedicated friendships. Extroverted folks do have an easier time meeting a lot of different people, but they run into a different problem. They are so accustomed to meeting new people that they rarely, or are less likely to, at least, invest in any one particular person. They’re accustomed at meeting lots and lots of different people. For elderly folks or people who have a difficult time being mobile, I would really recommend trying to find kind of opportunities that are based around activities that you enjoy being at, where you’ll be exposed to a lot of the new people, and that you know that those people will keep showing up over and over again.
26:34 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: And I think that this is why I’m part of a lot of programming—for people who are retired or otherwise—is really activity-based. You want people to come together to play cards, to play Bingo, to go on nature walks, to study an activity or learn something new, or go to church or a synagogue or otherwise. All of these are places where people keep showing up. A lot of new people and opportunities to meet new folks. Although all of those do require some getting out of one’s home, there are a lot of opportunities to be able to build relationships, which are in relatively convenient environments.
27:06 Pamela D. Wilson: And let’s say that I’m one of those people, I’m a little shy and I go to a group. How do I start a conversation in that group to make friends?
27:14 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Yes, everybody wants to know what are the tricks, right?
27:17 Pamela D. Wilson: What do I say? Do I just stand against the wall, hoping somebody comes up to me? [chuckle]
27:21 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, right. No, what’s interesting is, if we think about it, the very first process of building a relationship with somebody is really the kind of things that my seven-year-old would tell you. You want to say, what is the person’s name? What are you like? And is this a nice person? And in some ways, as adults, we do the same thing. Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? These kinds of things are part of the general sort of script of getting to know people.
27:44 Dr. Jeffrey Hall: So no. You can’t just sit in a corner and kind of slink off to the side and expect to build friends. One thing that you really do have to do, though is to go to the process of keep talking to people that you want to talk to. Make it a priority to actually see them the next time you see them at this activity or this place. And of course, as I mentioned before, that critical aspect of shifting contexts once you meet somebody. Actually inviting them to do something with you or with your family is really important. Research that one of my graduate students just published found that context shifts, or this process of developing the relationship in a place that’s different from where you met somebody. So, someone that you met at work, you can develop otherwise. It’s a key process of building friendships.
28:27 Pamela D. Wilson: Dr. Hall, thank you so much for joining us. Listeners, we are headed out to a break. This is Pamela D. Wilson, your host on The Caring Generation. You’re with me live on the BBM Global Network Channel 100 and Tune In Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back.
31:02 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, live from the BBM Global Network Channel 100 and TuneIn Radio. The Caring Generation focuses on the conversation of caring, giving us permission to talk about aging, the challenges of caregiving, health, and everything in between. We’re back to continue with answers to the question: What are adult day care programs, and how do these programs offer elderly and caregiver assistance? A third answer about the benefits of adult day care services is the cost, believe it or not. The cost of caring for aging parents is discussed thoroughly in another Caring Generation radio program. It’s called The Cost of Caring for Elderly Parents.
31:47 Pamela D. Wilson: Adult day care services can be a very affordable alternative to other types of elderly assistance. Like in-home caregiving or moving a family member to a care community. Rates can vary by where you live, but a half-day of elderly assistance at an adult day care service can average around $50 a day, a little more, a little less. A full day, maybe $80 to $90. If you compare that to hourly in-home caregiver rates of $25 to $30 an hour, or the daily rate at a care community, which can be around $160, $170, it makes adult day care services a pretty good value, and it offers you the break that you need from caregiving duties and all those emotional pressures that never seem to stop. It’s never too early to investigate options and start asking that question: What are adult day care programs? So that you can create a backup plan.
32:41 Pamela D. Wilson: The next common question about this type of elderly assistance is, does insurance pay for it? Regular health insurance does not pay for adult day care services, But if your elderly parent purchased long-term care insurance, payments for adult day care services might be included as a benefit. You can call the company and ask. Another payment source can be Medicaid. It’s known by different names, depending on where you live. Planning ahead for elderly assist is so important to your mental health, to your physical health. If you are a caregiver, how will you pay for your care? Think about this. Does your company offer long-term care insurance? What can you do today to plan ahead? The benefits are substantial when we consider how expensive care is today—when we think about planning for ourselves. A lot of adult children contribute thousands of dollars to care for elderly assistance programs for parents.
33:35 Pamela D. Wilson: If you or a parent planned, long-term care insurance would provide this care, and you’d have your time in your life back. Including the money that you’re paying out for care now. Being attentive to your health, planning for these care needs tomorrow. It’s a long game. It’s like saving for retirement. If your parent doesn’t have long-term care insurance, and they don’t qualify for Medicaid, the payments for all types of elderly assistance come from their savings or from you as the family caregiver. Figuring out ways to pay for care can add stress and complexity to elderly assistance.
34:07 Pamela D. Wilson: The number four answer to what are adult day care programs is the idea of adult day care services being what I call a bridge. When you think about a bridge, it’s that mechanism that gets us from here to there: Bridge over a river, a bridge over a stream. Caregivers deal with bridges all the time when you manage care for elderly parents. Adult day care services are the bridge to the benefits of understanding what are adult day care programs and what they can offer. Instead of harming your health and your well-being as that caregiver—instead of giving up your career and your income, investigate adult day care services. Using this type of elderly assistance can help delay or prevent your parent from needing more costly and more time-intensive elderly assistance. If you think of adult day care programs as the idea of prevention, this can ease those conversations.
35:00 Pamela D. Wilson: The number of five answer to what are adult day care programs are activities. Not all programs or locations have the same activities. Adult day care services are usually planned around the needs of the attendees. For example, some adult day care services have activities and care specific to people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Those people may need more physical assistance to use the bathroom. Some may take medications. Many adult day programs provide meals for the participants. Some people physically enjoy going out. They take day trips. Some programs include music and art, playing cards, physical exercises, dancing, gardening, all kinds of crafts, and these give people opportunities to make friends like we talked with Dr. Hall. Other adult day care services might also have visiting providers like beauticians, nurses who trim finger and toenails.
35:55 Pamela D. Wilson: The next answer to what are adult care programs is the idea of investigating and learning. Until you call for information and you visit, you’re not going to know what’s available for elderly assistance programming. Many adult day care services offer a trial day to learn about an elderly parent or spouse who attends—their needs and their preferences. The goal is to match your parent with a group of attendees that have like interests so that the program can be successful. And know that when you’re looking for communities for day care, that’s what you’re looking for. Some caregivers might go to a place, and you might be disappointed to learn that some of the attendees are more advanced in health issues, in physical or cognitive abilities. They need more help. That can relate to adult day care services whose primary payer is Medicaid. So you want to ask about that. The Medicaid or PACE qualifier for payment for adult day care services is a need for substantial hands-on care, which is very similar to the care that’s offered in nursing homes.
37:01 Pamela D. Wilson: So when you call the number—the number that you should call—ask them and say, “What are the adult day care programs that you have? What are the ages of the residents? Male versus female, ages, physical activities, cognitive activities. Are most of your attendees private pay? Is it a Medicaid program?” And definitely go to visit before you take your aging parent or spouse. You don’t want to have a disaster by choosing an adult day care service that isn’t a good match. Because this will spoil the experience for your parents. They’re going to refuse to try another program. So, take the time to set up this in a thoughtful manner.
37:44 Pamela D. Wilson: After the break, we’re going to continue to talk about what are adult day care programs, including transportation. How do your elderly parents get from your house to the day care program and back? That can be simple, or it can be complicated. You can follow me on Facebook. You can join my online caregiver support group. It is called The Caregiving Trap where you will meet other caregivers in similar situations. Help for caregivers and aging adults is also on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. My Facebook page is PamelaDWilson.page. On my website, my caregiving library, my caregiving courses, videos, a lot of helpful information, and my caregiving blog. This is Pamela D. Wilson. You are with me on The Caring Generation, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network Channel 100 and TuneIn Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back.
41:00 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, author, and speaker on The Caring Generation, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn radio. Information for corporations and human resource departments about elder care and caregiving programs on-site, online education, webinars, video conferencing, talent optimization, and virtual training programs is on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. Let’s go to the next answer, number seven. What are adult day care programs, and how does transportation work? This answer is situational, and it can depend on the adult day care services that you select and location. If your elderly parent lives near an adult day care center, it’s highly likely that that center may offer their own transportation. That makes it really easy. If not, there is a program called Access-A-Ride or Access-A-Taxi, or some towns have their own transportation programs for seniors. So you might look into those. That is another question to ask about elderly assistance when you call the adult day care services. Ask about transportation.
42:10 Pamela D. Wilson: I realize that coordinating elderly assistance can have you feeling like you’re jumping through hoop after hoop after hoop. You’re wondering what’s next? What am I going to have to do next? We can go back to the similarity—if you think about it—of arranging transportation for your children, if you have them, to attend school. Except that elderly parents might need a little more physical assistance if they use a walker or a wheelchair. Transportation options do exist for adult day care programs. You or another family member may also be able to provide that transportation. Explore all the options until you find the best solution.
42:44 Pamela D. Wilson: The number eight answer to what are adult day care programs is a combination of elderly assistance programs. What do I mean? Maybe you begin with in-home caregivers for an aging parent, and you’re looking for another elderly assistance option. You might use two days of in-home caregivers and maybe two or three days of adult day care services. Having a schedule and a consistent routine for your aging parents and spouses who need care, it’s very helpful. Having assistance that combines one-on-one care of an in-home caregiver and the activities provided at adult day care services might provide, really a great variety for an aging parent and also meet your needs. Think about it.
43:25 Pamela D. Wilson: Would you welcome an aging parent receiving a bath or a shower a couple days a week from a caregiver? Somebody to come in and change bedding and laundry? Maybe do some grocery shopping? Some meal preparation to give you a break? Imagine having an in-home caregiver to help with that. Then your parent likes or wants to be with others, rather than having you be the entertainment committee or the person who has to develop activities. Look at an adult day care program. Adding adult day care service is a great option for a plan that you might already have in place for an aging parent.
44:00 Pamela D. Wilson: The number nine answer to what are adult day care programs relates to the PACE program. And it’s PACE. It’s not—I’m not talking about PACE salsa. I’m talking about PACE. It’s medical speak for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. It’s a program that you can look up. You can Google it. I believe it’s available in about 31 states, so not all states. If your elderly parent has high care needs and is low-income, the PACE program may be exactly what you’re looking for.
44:27 Pamela D. Wilson: It is adult day care services plus. What do I mean by a plus? Add to the idea of adult day care programs, the idea of medical and home health care, medications, access to social workers, respite care to give the caregiver a break, dental, vision, hearing, foot care, and more. Does that sound like something you might be interested in? Is it something that would help you care for an aging parent and give you a mental and physical break? There are guidelines for the programs that you want to learn about. One is that an aging parent must be living at home in the community at the time of enrolling into the program. That means prior moving into a nursing home. The person needing care must also be certified for a skilled nursing home level of care. And that relates to activities of daily living like we’ve talked about before on prior radio shows. An aging parent must need elderly assistance that includes things like bathing help, help with dressing, help going to the bathroom, managing continence, walking, transferring, or moving about. Maybe they’ve got bad balance, or if they have a cognitive impairment like memory loss and they really shouldn’t be home alone.
45:37 Pamela D. Wilson: While some PACE programs can be accessed private pay, most do use that Medicaid waiver or for the payer source. The goal of the program is to help your parents remain at home by providing the type of assistance that many older adults need and support that caregivers need. For many low-income elderly, the PACE Program and the services offered mean that—adult day care service is a blessing and a benefit. And believe it or not, many PACE programs. They have their own transportation. You might think you’ve died and gone to heaven. You can think of PACE like a health insurance plan that has preferred providers. If you think about Kaiser Permanente—it’s managed care? The PACE program is similar to that. Like Kaiser, the PACE program has in-network doctors, locations that they call centers that your elderly parent will visit for care.
46:29 Pamela D. Wilson: So, here’s the difference. If you have doctors and other providers that you like, changing providers would be a requirement of the PACE program. You want to call them for information, create a list of pros and cons before you make that decision to change to the PACE program, or really any health insurance program that can substantially change the care that an aging parent or spouse receives. We’re kind of coming up to that time of year where people consider insurance plans. So these are the questions that you want to ask. Subject Number 10: The question and answer for what are adult day care programs is—is this for you? Is it for an aging parent? Make sure that you investigate it. Be open-minded. Consider your caregiving experience to date. How will a change or increase in the care that an elderly parent needs affect your life, health, career, and family? Looking at the long-term aspects of caring for aging parents or a spouse, it’s critical for your well-being as a caregiver.
47:26 Pamela D. Wilson: If you don’t take steps to find options before you burn out or become exhausted, you could be that next person who needs care. Investigate options, be open to learning, plan early. Initiate discussions about caregiving and paying for care in your family, for your elderly parents, and for yourself. Who will take care of you when you’re older? How do you do this? Practical tips, solutions, and support for caregivers are in my book. It is called The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes.
47:58 Pamela D. Wilson: Information about the book is on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com, where you can also find my online course for caregivers called Taking Care of Elderly Parents, Stay at Home and Beyond, that’s available through corporations and groups. This is Pamela D Wilson, caregiving author, expert, and speaker. You are with me on The Caring Generation, live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Information for caregivers is on my website, www.PamelaDWilson.com, my caregiving blog, my videos. You can also check out my group on Facebook. It is called The Caregiving Trap. My Facebook page is PamelaDWilson.page. Stay with me. We will be right back after this break.
50:57 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host on the Caring Generation Radio Program for caregivers and aging adults. Live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn radio. Share the Caring Generation with your friends, family, co-workers, the companies where you work, your social groups, church, and everywhere. One in four people you know are caregivers, looking for hope, help, and support that is here on The Caring Generation every Wednesday and on my website 24/7 at www.PamelaDWilson.com. Coming up next week, Dr. Elena Portacolone from the University of California at San Francisco. She is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Institute of Health and Aging at the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Our health and wellness topic is going to be identifying and managing health concerns for aging adults who live alone when there are concerns and a lot of uncertainty about how to plan for care if family lives at a distance, or worst case, there is no family to help.
52:00 Pamela D. Wilson: If you are a solo ager, if you live by yourself, you’ll want to hear this interview. Let’s close out this program talking about the idea of how our personal styles can affect our level of being proactive to plan for care or even address our health issues. Asking the question of what are adult day care programs falls into this category. In this situation, you might be a caregiver or the aging adult who is starting to have health concerns or who needs care. Think about your style, behaviors, and beliefs. Ask yourself—are you helping or hindering your situation? Do you feel stuck because you don’t know what to do? Are you flexible and willing to change, or you’re that person who said, “Uh-uh, no way, I’m not going to do it.” You are inflexible in your thinking and your responses.
52:45 Pamela D. Wilson: Might that cause problems? When we begin asking these questions, if we’re honest with ourselves, we might see that we’re the ones hindering our situation. Admitting that we might not have made the best choice in the past or that we’re not making good decisions, that can deflate our egos. Can’t it? It’s okay. A lot of us discover this. The key is, what do you do next? Getting good healthcare takes being collaborative and working with other people. If you’ve been independent all of your life, that could be a challenge for you. Can you or will you change your thoughts about prioritizing independence over getting the help and care you need to make managing day-to-day activities easier and to stay in your home? Some people they find it very difficult to accept help. This includes caregivers who want to do it all on their own. You know who you are. Caregivers who want to do it their own way.
53:39 Pamela D. Wilson: It’s the idea of being flexible versus rigid. Caregiving, it certainly is not an exact science. Many of what we do as caregivers results from trial and error. Trying one thing that doesn’t work out. Trying another thing that works out really well. It’s part of life. We learn from our experiences, and if we are proactive, we can learn from others. Learning from others can save caregivers and aging adults time, money, frustration, and effort. Would you rather struggle or learn how you can make a situation more positive? I pick the positive. We all have the choice to be proactive and results-oriented, or cautious, hesitant, we can resist change. Fear of change is normal. Asking ourselves, “Can I do this differently?” Fear of learning new habits, oh, it’s all scary stuff, but we can do it.
54:34 Pamela D. Wilson: Sometimes, it’s necessary to work through caregiving situations, so that we don’t make mistakes, and our elderly parents and spouses get the care that they need. That’s really the most important thing. We want to make sure our loved ones get the care that they need. To that, ask for the help, the education that you need from your families in the workplace. Caregiver support through articles, videos, online courses they are on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. Consider my website, and my programs, and my Facebook support group, The Caregiving Trap, a safe space for caregivers and aging adults who want to learn. If you have ideas for future programs, you can visit my website: Www.PamelaDWilson.com. There is a Contact Me button there. You can click on that, and you can send me an email with your ideas for programs.
55:20 Pamela D. Wilson: Many, many of the ideas for all of these shows come from caregiver questions and ideas that are posed in my caregiving support groups and to the caregivers that I talk to every day. Invite your friends and your family to join us every Wednesday night on The Caring Generation Radio Show. Share my website, www.PamelaDWilson.com. I am Pamela D Wilson, caregiving expert, advocate, author, and speaker. God bless all of you caregivers. You are amazing. Sleep well tonight, have a fabulous day tomorrow and a great week until we are together again.
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