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Is Adult Day Care Safe?
The Value and Safety of Adult Day Care

Long-term care studies prove that adult day care is safer for participants than staying home alone.

Adult day health care creates an environment filled with safeguards that promise a safe daytime environment for seniors and adults who cannot stay at home alone during the day due to physical and mental health limitations.

Centers across the states provide a vibrant and social community for adults, young and old.

Adult day care also gives family caregivers the respite and break from giving care to a relative or friend. Family members can take time out for themselves and relax knowing their loved one is well cared for and in good hands

Is Adult Day Care Safe?

With the support of adult day health services, older adults are able to continue living in their homes or with their families.

Safety protocols
Safety protocols

Even though adult day care is affordable for most participants, the cost does not lessen the expert care adults receive.

The people adult day care serve lives with:

  • Physical and mental limitations
  • Alzheimer's and dementia
  • Diabetes and other chronic illnesses
  • Social isolation
  • Depression
  • Disability due to stroke
  • Parkinson's
  • Frailty
  • Physical dependence

Because some adult day health care for participants with medical needs, most day care staff employ skilled professionals:

  • RN (nurses)
  • Certified nursing assistants
  • Activity directors
  • Program aides
  • Physical therapist
  • Speech therapist
  • Social workers
  • Occupational therapist

Staff Training

Staff in adult day health is specially trained in senior health issues. They work with families in planning the participant's care. Education and training include:

  • Skills that help prevent secondary disabilities (those that result from too much bed rest or inactivity)
  • Skills to teach participants to improve performance with daily activities
  • Help increase self-esteem and dignity
  • Skills that help stabilize medical conditions and reduce hospitalizations
  • Improve and stabilize cognitive functioning
  • Help increase verbal skills and mobility
  • Help improve nutrition

Adult Safety

It's not easy to entrust a loved one's well-being with strangers, so choosing an adult day care facility is not easy. We want our loved ones to have the best possible experience, so when we check out programs, locations and the services offered, safety lands at the top of the priority list.

Individual's Care Safety through Treatment Plans

Care plans are master plans to outline and give full instruction on how to care for the participant. Care planning is a requirement in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They're used specifically for medical services at day health care centers.

Why are Individual Treatment Plans Needed?

ITPs are holistic plans that benefit participants and care teams:

  • Define the goals for treatment
  • Set the objectives for achieving those goals
  • List the resources needed for carrying out the plan
  • Delineate job duties of the key players in the plan's execution

Individual treatment plans evolve as the participant's health changes and revisited by physicians, family, day care staff, andthe patient's social worker to ensure that treatment continues to benefit the patient. As a participant's health improves or worsens, changes aremade to the care plan.

Having a plan in writing is beneficial for everyone involved. Family members can feel more comfortable knowing exactly what kind of care their loved one will receive. Participants enjoy a higher quality, consistent care for needs. Doctors and nurses have clearly defined roles. In short, everyone is on the same page working to achieve the same goals and objectives.

ITPs for Alzheimer's and Dementia Care

Participants with Azheimer's and Dementia may benefit the most from individualized treatment plans. Care plans help ensure medications taken regularly and follow protocols. They frequently include a plan of action in the event a problem or emergency arises.

If participants with memory issues experience behaviors like wandering, confusion, and disorientation, the care plan directly give instructions to the staff on how to handle the behavior appropriately and effectively.


State Licensing
State Licensing

Each state licenses and monitors adult day health care centers. Regular inspections ensure that facilities provide excellent care for older adults and people with disabilities.

Almost all adult day care facilities have regulations to meet in some part by either local, state or federal laws. Most must pass inspections and the employees of the centers have safety guidelines that they have to follow. Day care centers have inspections at regular intervals to make certain they comply with safety guidelines.

They're required to have specific personnel, like registered nurses and social workers on site whenever the center is in operation, if they cater to medical care.

Basic safety must follow:

  • Safety rails along walls and in corridors be installed
  • Handicapped accessible restrooms
  • Well-equipped first aid procedures in place
  • Emergency medical supplies
  • Procedures in place in case of a disruptive participant
  • Large rooms for activities
  • Safe and non-slip floors
  • Well lit areas
  • Natural lighting

Lastly, but maybe most importantly, your loved one feels safe:

  • Is it in a safe community?
  • Is the staff knowledgeable and friendly?
  • Is the decor suitable to the environment or is it more hospital-like?
  • Are activities safe, especially the ones designed for physical movement?

A quality facility will take these things and more into account to make sure that your loved one's experience is safe and productive.

When searching for an adult center:

  • Check their credentials
  • Speak with staff
  • Speak with current clients

The best measure of a center is from current and previous clients. Safety records may also be recorded by your state's health department. Almost all facilities that provide any type of care to disabled or elderly people will need to register with the health department.

In all facilities that care for people, from young to old, there's always a risk, whether licensed or not. This is why most facilities carry some sort of insurance to cover the medical care for anyone who's injured. This can apply to clients or visitors.

Staff Background Checks

Most facilities perform criminal background checks on employees. As a client, you have every right to read state inspections reports and violations.

Not only are employees screened for drugs and criminal records, they are often given a training program to inform them of correct procedures and protocols. They learn to help participants walk, seat themselves correctly, and rise from seating positions. Staff's trained to follow specific guidelines in case of a medical or another type of emergency.

Adult day care centers also have strict rules regarding visitors to the facility, and some volunteers have screening requirements to meet before giving presentations or holding activities events.

Before signing up with a day care program, make sure the staff understands your loved one's special needs. Get a signed agreement with the center and list out special requests to ensure you're both on the same page.

List out any and all physical and mental impairments, as well as lists of any medications and dosing instructions involved.

Be sure that staff has awareness of limitations that the participant has, and be apprised of any special care they need such as help with mobility issues to prevent accidental injuries.

Always speak with current participants and family members about the program to know if they're satisfied.

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.