About Adult Daycare
Adult daycare is a great option for seniors who are living at home with loved ones and who require supervision during the day, or even for those seniors who are simply in need of a way to socialize with other individuals their age. Typical adult daycare options provide services such as medication management as well as a meal and some entertainment options. Transportation options may also sometimes be provided with adult daycare services. Pricing for adult daycare may be available on a daily basis as well as on an ongoing basis, depending on the way that seniors and their loved ones use it.
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What is Adult Day Care?
Just as a day care for children provides social enjoyment and activities as well as a break for the caregiver, an adult day care is the same concept but for a different generation - usually for those over age 65. Adult day care can improve the overall mood, offer an enjoyable environment and provide the caregiver with much-needed time off. Most adult daycare facilities operate in the day time, but some provide additional service times during evenings and weekends. Not all adult day care centers are the same; some have specialty areas or focused care that can be offered such as:
- Alzheimer's and dementia care
- Social activities
- Medical or health services
It is typical for an adult day care center to be affiliated with another elder-care program such as nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities (SNF), home health care agencies and other health service providers. Approximately half of the adult day care centers nationwide offer therapy services such as occupational, physical and speech. The centers are state-regulated with staff that includes an activity director, a certified nursing aide and a social worker; volunteers are also widely used in adult day care facilities.
Adult Day Care vs. Respite Care
The main difference between adult day care and respite care is the setting. Community-based centers and group settings are where adult day care services are provided. Respite care can occur in any variety of care setting such as a nursing home, residential center or at home. Both respite and adult day care services can be provided for a few hours per day up to a period of several weeks or more. Unlike adult day care which is restricted to 4-12 hours per day, respite care can extend to overnight care. Many adult day care centers also offer daytime respite care.
Adult Day Care Costs
Adult day care services are a rapidly growing source of long-term care for elders due to the availability, lower cost and high demand for caregivers to have a break from caregiving responsibilities. According to a national adult day services survey conducted by MetLife in 2010, there are more than 4,600 adult day services centers in the United States, an increase of 35% since 2002. There are more than 260,000 participants and family caregivers serviced — an increase 63%, since 2002.
Paying for Adult Day Care Services
As with any long-term care need, often times expenses are paid for out-of-pocket or by a combination of other methods such as Social Security, pensions, Veterans benefits, insurance, home equity, and various savings. According to a survey conducted by CareScout in June 2017, the national average cost per month for adult day care was just over $1515. This figure is expected to rise to over $2030 over the next ten years.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is a policy that is purchased through a private insurance company. Similar to health insurance policies, the price varies greatly depending on age, general health and amount of coverage needed. Coverage could be denied for people with pre-existing conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. Not all insurance will deny based on these conditions so it is important to explore different insurance companies.
Adult day care is not covered under Medicare, but depending on the state, Medicaid can be an option if the senior has a condition such as Alzheimer's, dementia, or Parkinson's, then Medicare for health insurance is more likely to cover such care.
Programs of All-Inclusive Aid for the Elderly (PACE) is a joint program between Medicare and Medicaid. It is designed to help 55+ adults stay in their homes instead of entering nursing home care. PACE programs might pay for all services covered by Medicare and Medicaid that are medically necessary for care, including:
- Adult day care
- Nursing care
- Home care
- Activities, meals and exercise
- Social Services
- Other specialty medical care and therapies
To discover more about PACE and see if it is offered in your location, you can visit their website.
Medicaid is a Federal and State health insurance program for those with low income and limited assets. Administration of the program varies by state, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicaid will pay for adult day care services if certain criteria are met such as needing a nursing-home level of care. The individual's income and assets have to be below certain guidelines. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid has strict eligibility requirements.
Aid and Attendance Benefit for Veterans
According to the VA website, the Aid and Attendance benefit (A&A) benefit is a special benefit for war era veterans and their surviving spouses. It is a tax-free benefit designed to provide financial assistance to help cover the cost of long-term care in the home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home. This benefit is for those who require the regular attendance of another person or caregiver in at least two of the daily activities of living. An adult day care center falls into that category in most cases. To learn more about the eligibility requirements and to apply for these veteran benefits visit VeteransAid.org online.
In situations when costs aren't covered through other means, paying via private funds is an option. Sources of private funds for adult day care include retirement accounts and 401Ks, savings accounts, annuities and insurance plans (including life settlements), trusts and stock market investments. Home equity and bridge loans can also be used when transitioning to the increased care that a day care facility provides. Social Security can also be used as a means of paying for adult day care and other long-term health care needs.
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