Should I take my mother to Alzheimer's Day Care?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 01, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I just got a new part-time job and am trying to figure out how to care for my mom while I'm at work. I like the idea of Alzheimer's Day Care, because my mom has always been very social. But I have a lot of questions. How many times per week should she go? How many hours per visit? How do I know if the people there "“ the staff and the other seniors "“ will be kind to her? If we don't do Day Care, we'll probably try to hire someone to come to the house "“ would that be better?

Expert Answers

Brenda Avadian, brings knowledge, hope, and joy to family caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia. She cared for her father with Alzheimer's and helps families one-on-one and in groups. She is the author of eight books, including the pioneering memoir "Where's my shoes?" My Father's Walk through Alzheimer's and the Finding the JOY in Alzheimer's series. She presents vivid, compelling, and funny keynotes to both professional and family caregiving audiences.

Both adult day and in-home care are viable options.

Adult day care will offer greater variety of activities and people with whom to socialize. Here are four TIPS to help get you started: * Visit the Adult Day Care page for referrals to centers in your area. * Make an unannounced visit to the adult day care center with your mom to see how the administrator and staff respond to your mom and how she feels about them, the setting, and the other participants. * Talk to the adult day care staff and interact with a few of the participants. * Plan to spend an hour to get a feeling for the place before deciding. Once you decide, you have the option to take your mom everyday or a few days a week; depending on your part-time work schedule. You may want her to participate the entire day on those days she attends so you may enjoy some respite as well.

In-home care will provide more personalized care.

On the days your mom is not be up to attending adult day care, an in-home care service provider will ensure she is being cared for while you're at work. When hiring in-home care through an agency, be sure that it is bonded; after all the caregiver will be in your home.

For referrals, additional tips, and what to ask for when interviewing a home care worker, click the following:'s Homecare information page.

If you have a family member, friend, or neighbor who is trustworthy and dependable and wants to help, this arrangement may work for short periods of time. You may even encourage and pay for them to enjoy a fun outing to a museum, park, or lunch.

Both adult day care and in-home care will provide you some respite from direct caregiving responsibilities a few days a week while giving you peace of mind that your mom is receiving care.