After a long and stressful work-week, Julia decided to stop by her mother's house before heading home. Much to her surprise, she found the house empty. "Mom never goes out," she thought, as a wave of anxiety washed over her. Running to the nearest neighbor, Julia learned that her mother had shown up at their doorstep hours ago, in a disheveled and disoriented state.
After this all-too-common scenario, Julia concluded that her mother, who had been diagnosed with vascular dementia as a result of a recent stroke, could no longer stay home unsupervised. On advice of a counselor at her company's Employee Assistance Program, Julia called Family Caregiver Alliance and scheduled a consultation to help her develop a plan for the care of her mother.
An appointment with Julia and her mother, Ellen, was scheduled in Ellen's home to allow the Family Consultant to best assess the situation. Observations as to Ellen's health, independence and sociable nature suggested that her participation in a day care program would be ideal.
There are two types of day care programs:
Adult day care programs offer participants the opportunity to socialize, enjoy peer support, and receive nutritional, health and social services in a safe, familiar environment up to five days a week.
Adult day health programs provide more intensive health, therapeutic and social services to individuals with severe medical problems and those at risk of nursing home placement.
Because isolation is a great danger to elders living independently, regular attendance at a local day care program would not only provide Ellen with the supervision she required, but would allow her to participate in structured activities in the company of others. Julia chose to use senior transportation, which would pick up Ellen in the morning and bring her home in the afternoon. In the meantime, Julia could complete her work, assured of her mother's daytime safety.
For employed caregivers, adult day centers and adult day health centers can offer an excellent way to balance the often conflicting demands of work and eldercare.
For more information call FCA at (800) 445-8106.
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