Monday, October 7, 2019

Dementia Day Care Benefits (Research, Video 5:08)

Through the years, I have noticed a reluctance by several caregivers to enroll a loved one in a dementia day care program. They usually defend their positions by saying statements such as, “No one can take better care of him than I can,” or “I’m sure she won’t like it there. She would rather stay at home.” Having visited and participated in several dementia day care programs, I know that a daily routine focused on dementia-oriented activities, balanced hot meals, supportive caregivers and loving friends is far better that sitting at home in a limited environment that too often includes mostly watching television, eating and sleeping.

Nowadays, I suggest to caregivers that they and their loved ones living with dementia visit a day care program for just one day and see how they like it. So far, no one has stopped going back. On one first day trip, the person with dementia did not want to leave when all her new friends walked her to the door, hugged her and said good-bye. And the caregivers still say they wish they had gone sooner. They especially appreciate the quality respite time that they can enjoy, while knowing their loved ones are in good hands at the dementia center.

The best part of day care is that both caregivers and those with dementia benefit. A research study examined the effects adult day care programs had on individuals with dementia and their caregivers from the perspective of care providers at such a program.The care providers identified several benefits. These benefits followed two themes including the role of care providers and the time to breathe. 

The following video demonstrates activities of the San Diego, California Alzheimer's Day Care Center (Glenner Town Square) where a 1950’s memory village has been created. The video explains information about Alzheimer’s disease and what caregiver providers and those living with dementia can do at the village to stimulate minds and improve their sense of purpose.

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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