Steps 5 and 6: Check references and involve the person
Step 5: Ask for references.
By now you probably will have zeroed in on one or two programs that seem right for you. Ask for the names of caregivers who've had relatives in the program. Contact them and find out what did they like and dislike?
Step 6: Inform the person in your care.
Once you've selected a program, it's time to get the patient on board. (There's no real need to do so sooner.) Have realistic expectations; he may not be as open to the idea as you are. He may feel anxious, insecure, or uncomfortable about meeting new people, being in a new place, or being separated from his primary caregiver(s). He may be put off by the term "daycare," thinking he'll be treated like a child.
To ease the way:
- Explain why the program is a good idea: "It will give us a little break from each other and let you be with other people. There will also be a lot of activities there that can keep you busy. Doctors think these kinds of programs can possibly slow down the Alzheimer's."
- Try pitching the center as a club -- this may help remove some of the stigma of the "daycare" association while emphasizing the camaraderie and opportunities that the center makes possible. Or, for a patient who's focused on therapies for slowing the disease, it might be easiest to think of adult daycare for its therapeutic value.
- Enlist a third party, such as a doctor or a geriatric care manager, to discuss the benefits if you sense or expect resistance. This approach can also help lessen feelings of guilt or stress associated with leaving him at a center. (These feelings are common, and a neutral party also can help you see the value of taking advantage of available services.)