Saturday, May 31, 2014

Adult Day Care Services Benefit Caregivers and Participants (Research, Video 6:11)

I recently had a fantastic time at an adult day care center for people with dementia. After a brief tour of the facility, I heard strains of a lively version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” coming from the activity room. A New Orleans native, I was not going to miss joining in whatever was going on there. What was going on was a small parade of participants who lured me right into the festivities. We were marching, singing, and clapping to a joyful beat as if our lives depended on it. In some ways, they did. For many who had been homebound often before joining that center, their lives were truly enhanced by being there. Going to day care, socializing with friends, having great meals, and participating in engaging activities had opened up a new world for them. And a new world for caregivers had also become available.

Lagniappe (lan-yap) is known as a free treat in New Orleans. For example, it could be a surprise mint candy at the bottom of your carryout bag. Good adult day care services have lagniappe as well. In addition to the rewards provided for participants at the center, family caregivers, especially those caregiving individuals with dementia, receive healthy intangible treats that make their lives better. Research on caregivers indicates that, on adult day care days, caregivers had lower exposure to care-related stressors, more positive experiences, and more noncare stressors. Using adult day care services lowered caregivers’ anger and reduced the impact  of noncore stressors on depressive symptoms. That’s a lot of lagniappe and an important endorsement of the positive impact of these services. Review examples of adult day care  benefits for caregivers and participants featured on this video:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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