Adult Day Services: Time apart makes time together better

Time apart makes time together better. This is what Ila Schepisi shared with a caregiver who was reluctant to leave his wife at Adult Day Services for the first time. His wife had Alzheimer’s Disease and he was tired, weary, and weak. His own health was deteriorating and he needed rest. He needed respite.

What are Adult Day Services?

Adult Day Services programs support families helping their loved ones age in place. They offer interactive and engaging programming to older adults including social and personal care support. These services are available in every state and provide caregivers the benefit of time, rest and respite.

What could you get done with an extra 6-8 hours in a day? Would you nap? Would you visit a friend or maybe go grocery shopping? Would you get your hair cut without worry? Maybe walk a few laps at the recreation center? Maybe all of the above!

Caregivers can rest assured that their loved ones are cared for in these community-based group settings. Many Adult Day Service centers offer social activities, meals & snacks, personal care, and therapeutic activities. In fact, Adult Day Services are leaders in care for people with dementia. These centers have professional staff with valuable knowledge and experience to support caregivers through every step of their journey.

Should you use Adult Day Services?

Engaged caregivers often have a strong sense of duty and love. It is common for feelings of guilt to prevent caregivers from taking the steps they need to overcome the isolation, stress, worry, and strain that comes with the care role. Burnout is a real risk for caregivers and Ila sees it regularly. Utilizing Adult Day Services for respite provides the time and balance that caregivers need to build resilience for their care journey, ensuring they can provide care long term.

How do you find an Adult Day Service center?

Finding Adult Day Services near you is easy! Go to the website of your local department of social services or call them and ask for the nearest licensed adult day program. They maintain a current list of all adult day programs in your area. Now all you have to do is make a call to the center near you and set up an appointment for a tour!

Worried about cost?

Many Adult Day Services accept Medicaid. Additionally, Veteran’s Affairs covers costs for qualifying veterans. Long-term care insurance can often cover the cost of Adult Day Services. And some centers even have scholarships available for qualifying families.

If you pay privately, the average daily fee is about $71. At Ila's center, that would cover a full 10-hour day. Compared to the costs of other long-term care services, this is a bargain. Especially considering that many Adult Day Programs employ care professionals, like full-time RNs.

If you have any questions about Adult Day Services or how to pay for this valuable support, we are always here to help!

Ila Schepisi, MTS, CTRS Bio

Director of Virginia Tech Adult Day Services since 2012

Senior Faculty Instructor, VT Department of Human Development and Family Sciences

Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist – Specialization in Geriatrics

20 years’ experience (in April) in dementia care