Adult day care can benefit those with dementia by providing a safe haven, mental stimulation through activities, socialization, various therapy options and necessary health support. Adult day care refers to programs in which seniors stay at a center for a whole day or part of a day so that their caregivers can work or fulfill other obligations. This can be a good option for seniors experiencing the memory loss and confusion of dementia, for it can provide a sense of purpose and meaning as well as a feeling of familiarity and routine.

Safety, Stimulation and Socialization

Seniors with memory loss often have a tendency to wander, so they can’t be left alone safely for any length of time. Adult day care centers offer the security these seniors need to stay safe. Staff members provide supervision and offer plenty of activities to reduce boredom. These activities are a major advantage of adult day care. They may include arts and crafts, music therapy, exercise sessions and movies that encourage physical and mental fitness and well-being. Outings are often available as well, and seniors may have an opportunity to visit museums, parks, libraries and other community attractions.

Many seniors with dementia experience significant loneliness. Adult day care can provide a remedy, as it allows people to gather for shared experiences and conversation. Seniors have a chance to meet new people and build friendships, which they’d be unable to do if they were home alone all day. These connections, in turn, can combat depression and increase cognitive function. Even if people with dementia don’t entirely remember their companions, friendly faces and encouraging words from staff members and other participants can increase a sense of security and provide much-needed connections. By finding meaning in their activities and in the people around them, seniors can develop a sense of purpose that keeps their spirits up.

Therapy and Health Support

Adult day care programs often provide therapy and health support to participants. Physical, occupational and speech therapy may be available on-site for convenience. Physical therapy helps seniors build and maintain their strength and flexibility so that they can walk, sit and stand safely. It also increases muscle strength and range of motion so that seniors can have confidence in their abilities. Occupational therapy focuses on the performance of everyday activities, and this is especially important for seniors with dementia who might sometimes struggle with regular routines. Occupational therapists work with participants on basic skills for daily functioning and quality of life. Finally, speech therapy is all about language and communication. Seniors experiencing memory loss often have difficulty in this area, but speech therapy can help them function better.

Seniors who remain in their homes day after day may lack access to the health support they need, but adult day care can provide this. Such support may include health monitoring by nurses as well as dental, hearing, vision and foot care. Sometimes support groups or counseling sessions are available as well, and these can be especially helpful for seniors frustrated in their struggle with dementia. Some programs may also provide medication administration and vital sign checks.