How do your patients/clients use their free time?
B. Artistic pursuits
C. Volunteer work
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Turning to Franchises
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It’s clear that nutrition is a critical player in lifestyle considerations that affect older adults’ longevity. As we celebrate National Nutrition Month in March, it’s important to create opportunities to make your patients and clients aware of the key role diet plays in staying healthy and, in turn, enhancing elders’ quality of life.
This month’s E-News Exclusive, “Adult Day Services: More Than a Stopgap Measure,” highlights the dramatic modifications such services will likely undergo to effectively serve the baby boomer demographic that will populate senior day care centers in the not-too-distant future. In addition to programming and staffing considerations, diet and nutrition issues serve as a focus for proposed overhaul and enhancement.
Healthcare professionals can take active roles in providing input to local legislators and planners who can influence the success of senior day care services as they evolve to serve diverse groups of older adults. Take the opportunity to make a difference.
We welcome your comments at AWeditor@gvpub.com
— Barbara Worthington, editor
Adult Day Services: More Than a Stopgap Measure
By Barbara Worthington
Adult day care provides for specific acute needs of older adults and their caregivers. But to successfully address the approaching wave of baby boomers, such services will have to be modified in both programming and flexibility to meet boomer needs and expectations.
Ideal for providing an intermediate step between aging in place and institutionalization for older adults, adult day services continue to expand and evolve. It may be surprising that such services have been in place for more than three decades. In 1978, only 300 adult day care centers existed nationwide. The country’s older adult population explosion has seen that number increase to more than 2,100 such centers by the 1980s and more than 4,000 today, according to the National Adult Day Services Association.
Adult day services have proven essential for providing caregiver respite, as well as therapeutic services and social activities for older adults faced with diagnoses such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Adult day care permits caregivers to maintain their jobs and escape the guilt often associated with placing a loved one in a residential facility. At the same time, older adults who are the beneficiaries of adult day services enjoy the opportunities for social interaction, engaging activities, a range of healthcare services, and assistance with the activities of daily living.
|Ask the Expert
Have a question you want answered by one of our experts? Send your question to AWeditor@gvpub.com
and it may be featured in an upcoming E-Newsletter or print issue.
As a social worker and facilitator of an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) support group, I have seen many families (including mine with regard to my mother) in denial when their loved ones have been diagnosed with AD or dementia. In addition to denial in such cases, another important issue that troubles family members is their concern regarding the older adult’s driving. When an older adult gets lost and/or experiences impairment in decision-making processes, who should tell an elder that the individual may no longer drive? Should families rely on the elder’s physician?
Sandra L. Marsch, MSW
Informing any older adult that he or she should stop driving presents a potentially delicate situation. The family—spouse, children, or other—is in a very risky position and can expect unfavorable reactions from a loved one that can vary from resistance and resentment to intense anger or even hostile responses. This is especially true when, as with your clients, cognitive impairment is present.
The physician is the ideal choice in most cases. This is especially effective and well received when the individual has an established and trusted relationship with the physician. In cases where there is not such a close physician-patient rapport, a pastor, rabbi, or other spiritual adviser can provide similar caring and authoritative communication of this important advice.
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