If a senior wants to remain in his or her house but needs assistance, often a family member or close friend provides that assistance. If caring for a senior becomes overwhelming assistance can be brought into the home or the senior can attend an adult day care.

Care for seniors in their home has become a growth market.  Many private companies exist to provide assistance from light housekeeping to one-on-one care for Alzheimer’s clients. The types of services, training and skills of the workers providing care vary widely. If you want to hire a company to provide in-home care you should research the companies you are considering, their training, supervision and insurance.  In addition you must establish specific expectations for the services provided. Some individuals market themselves privately to provide in home care.  However the senior or the responsible person must comply with the laws regarding hiring these individuals. In most instances a caregiver will be considered an employee. Therefore tax withholding must be done, unemployment and workers compensation premiums paid and liability for injuries to the individual must covered by insurance.

If a caregiver needs a break or is trying to continue to work and the senior is able to be transported, adult day care could be an option. The National Institute on Adult Day Care defines an adult day care as follows:

Adult day care is a community-based group program designed to meet the needs of adults with functional impairments through an individual plan of care. It is a structured, comprehensive program, that provides a variety of health, social, and related support services during any part of the day, but less than 24 hour care. Individuals who participate in adult day care attend on a planned basis during specific hours. Adult day care assists to remain in the community, enabling families other caregivers to continue caring at home for a family member with an impairment.

Adult day care (“ADC”) “facilities are usually structured as either generalized or specialized programs. Generalized programs include all adults, regardless of the nature of the person’s impairments. Some of these facilities are called social adult day care facilities, because they provide supervision and assistance with activities of daily living and supervise activities to entertain the participants, but do not provide medical supervision. Other facilities are known as medical day care facilities. These facilities offer medical and paraprofessional medical services. They usually have nurses on staff, so they can serve persons who need assistance with medications or help in administering medications. These centers also have persons on staff to provide nursing care and therapeutic activities, such as physical, speech or occupational therapy.” (Representing the Elderly Client, Begley and Jeffers p3-29 to 3-30, 2011). Some other programs are for Alzheimer’s patients or others with specific intellectual or physical disabilities

Kansas and Missouri regulate ADC’s under the same regulations as skilled nursing facilities. Therefore an ADC must meet safety, cleanliness and medical standards. Nationally approximately 1/3 of funds paid to ADC’s came from government programs. ADC’s can mean the difference between a senior continuing to reside at home and having to go to a facility to meet his or her needs.