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Caregivers
Importance of the Caregiver at Adult Day Care

Adult Day Care facilities hire a number of staff specialists on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on the services offered to seniors and people living with disabilities.

Most adult day care centers will conduct thorough background checks for each employee before hiring.

The staff working at a day care center includes a registered nurse, activity or recreation director, one or more program assistants (nurse aide or caregiver), and a licensed social worker.

Program assistants are the employees, sometimes called a nurse aide or caregiver, who work with seniors to provide hands-on care.

The Adult Day Nurse Aide and Program Assistant is primarily responsible for coordinating personal and health related care, conducting activities, promoting independence, encouraging socialization, and advocating for better care and lifestyle of participants who attend adult day care.

Importance of the Caregiver or Program Assistant is Adult Day Care

Caregivers in Adult Day Care
Caregivers in Adult Day Care

There's no governing rules for a program assistant but follows set requirements that's established by the care center or its managing company.

You'll discover that staff members at adult day care centers be informal and casual when comparing to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. The casualness refer to the dress code. It helps maintain a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, and helps day care centers steer clear of "institutional" characteristics.

Questions to Ask About the Center's Caregivers and Program Assistants

Caregiver Requirements

  • Are they committed, engaged, friendly, and knowledgeable?
  • What are the requirements for becoming a caregiver or program assistant of the facility?
  • Do they treat the seniors as adults?
  • What's the ratio of caregiver or program assistant to participants? Do they meet the local requirements of staff/participant ratio?
  • Do volunteers work at the center? Are they required to submit to a background check?
  • Are the caregivers attentive?
  • Do seniors have to wait for help?
  • How long has the caregivers worked in day care?
  • How long has he worked in the senior care field?
  • How long have they been employed at the same facility?

Medical Services

People with needs for prepared meals, personal care (e.g. bathing, dressing), and housekeeping receive great care for such needs in adult day care.

When needs escalates, so do the employee's qualifications. As a caregiver becomes more involved in the health care of a participant, a caregiver must have special training.

The state and city regulates medication administration, injections, and other therapies. If you have questions about the qualifications or training of staff, speak with the center's director.

Care for Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients

In facilities dedicated to the care of patients with Alzheimer's Dementia and associate cognitive health issues, it's important that employees be adequately trained to provide care.

Participants living with a form of dementia are prone to wandering. Find out what security measures are in place to make sure that participants remain safe and attended to.

If you are considering an out-of-home respite or adult day care, here are some questions to ask the program director:

  • What is the ratio of caregivers to elders?
  • Can we meet and interview the caregivers in the program?
  • Do you keep a file on the elder's medical condition and other needs? Is there a written care plan?
  • What training and experience do the caregivers have? Have you run background checks on the caregivers? Have you spoken with caregivers' references?
  • What training do you provide to the caregivers?
  • How do you supervise and evaluate the caregivers?
  • What is your method for evaluating the program?
  • Do you ask family members for feedback? Can I see that feedback?
  • Can I speak with the families of elders that have attended or are currently attending this program?

Caregiver or Program Assistant Position Requirements

High School diploma or equivalent

Experience: 2 years' experience working with older adults or in a long-term health care setting

Certification: Licensed as Nursing Assistant, Commonwealth of Kentucky; First Aid and CPR certified

Skills, Abilities and Knowledge

Present information to participants, family members and employees

Personal Assistant in Day Care
Personal Assistant in Day Care

Carry outrules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals, short correspondence and memos

Carry out simple instructions

1. Assist with personal care of participants:

a. Toileting

b. Changing soiled clothing

c. Personal hygiene care as needed

d. Assist in ambulation

e. Cueing clients to independently meet their own needs

f. Monitoring food and fluid intake

g. All other areas of personal care services

2. Maintains participant's records according to regulations and established policies and procedures

3. Notes and reports any changes in attitude, health, or needs of participants.

4. Participates in program planning.

5. Conducts program activities designed to meet, in accordance with the comprehensive assessment, the interests and physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each participant.

6. Sets up and operates equipment; leads games, singing, discussions and other programmed activities; conducts exercise activities, and interacts with participants on an individual basis.

7. Works with volunteers assigned to specific projects.

8. Performs assigned duties to keep the facility safe, clean, and orderly.

9. Maintains safe environment by recognizing, eliminating, and/or reporting hazards.

10. Uses safety measures to assure safety of participants, visitors, and employees.

11. Uses safe practices utilizing gait belts and mechanical lifts as deemed appropriate.

12. Attends educational programs relevant to job responsibilities.

Have Care Values

When working in an adult day care setting, a caregiver or program assistant be driven by core values and successfully perform.

1. Work with compassion for older adults and their families:

a. Listen carefully

b. Professional and pleasant interaction

c. Practice patience and gentleness

2. Embrace aging as a valued part of life:

a. Encourage and respect individuality

b. Be humble and accepting

c. Compassionately engaged

3. Care for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of those we serve and those who serve with us:

a. Provide exceptional care with kindness and humility

b. Know your residents and colleagues - their important occasions and crises

c. Care about wellness and healthy lifestyles, and both set an example personally, as well as encourage others in their efforts to improve

4. Always seek ways to improve and grow:

a. Share knowledge

b. Challenge people to reach their highest potential

c. Stay abreast of industry trends and the latest technologies

5. Respect each person:

a. Invite participation and ideas from everyone

b. Treat everyone with honesty and fairness

c. Thank and recognize people for what they do

d. Acknowledge and speak daily

6. Exemplify integrity, excellence, and accountability:

a. Model what you expect

b. Do your best and strive to do better

c. Be reliable and enthusiastic

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.