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National Adult Day Services Week (September 18-24)

Posted Sep 18 2012 6:00am

At work, you try to concentrate, but there’s only thing on your mind: Is my elderly mother safe by herself at home? Or maybe you need to run errands, but your father-in-law, who lives with you, requires constant supervision. What can you do?

There are more than 4,600 adult day services centers around the country that provide caregivers the chance to catch up on other responsibilities while their elderly loved ones have an interesting, safe place to spend time.

“This is National Adult Day Services Week, an opportunity to make people more aware of the kinds of services that are available for our parents and other seniors,” says Michelle Mills, LCSW, director of Adult Day Services at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland .

Programs are especially designed for physically frail individuals with special medical needs such as diabetes, hypertension and post-stroke disabilities, and those with mental health challenges such as dementia, confusion and Alzheimer’s disease. The goal is to be an extension of the home environment with caring, personalized service.

As an example, at Levindale’s Adult Day Services centers on the Pikesville and Belvedere campuses, staff members develop a comprehensive, coordinated treatment plan, in consultation with their private physicians, for each participant. Nursing services, medical supervision, rehabilitation services and social services can all be coordinated, and special care is available for both physically handicapped and mentally impaired clients.

Professional nursing is a strong component of Levindale’s program. All medication is supervised and is provided to help maintain diabetic compliance. Vital signs, such as blood pressure are monitored, treatments are performed and many other nursing services are available. Personal assistance, including bathing and toileting, is given to participants as needed.

Well-trained activity specialists lead dynamic activities programs. Arts and crafts, intergenerational programs, music, cooking classes, exercise sessions, movies, discussion groups, live entertainment and trips into the community suit each participant’s special interests.

The activities program is designed to provide a high degree of socialization and encourage friendships. A stimulating and fun-filled environment provides the best quality of life possible for Levindale Adult Day Services participants.

“Keeping an elderly loved one at home for as long as possible is a goal that many families share,” adds Mills. “This is a terrific way to make that happen, while giving adult children, spouses and other caregivers a respite from 24 hour responsibility, an alternative to expensive in-home care, and the assurance that loved ones receive needed nursing, medical and social care.”

At Levindale, there is door-to-door transportation in most areas with specially equipped vans for the physically challenged, a light breakfast, a nutritious lunch and an afternoon snack are served, which are kosher. Assistance with eating is provided, and special dietary requirements can be accommodated.

For more information, you can call 410-601-2360.

-Helene King

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