Adult Day Health Care Centers: A critical provider of long-term care services

by Katy Krul of Oxnard Family Circle (appeared in LIVEWell)

Adult Day Health Care centers in Ventura County are critical providers of long-term care services in a congregated community-based setting for individuals with cognitive or physical impairments that are cost-effective and great alternatives to institutional care. The centers are licensed by the California Department of Public Health. There are five centers in Ventura County that serve residents over 18 years old with no age limit.

The centers provide activities, health monitoring, socialization, and assistance with daily activities, which allow participants to live in their homes, enhance their quality of life, and receive needed care in a supportive, professionally staffed, safe, and secured environment. This setting allows respite for family caregivers who often neglect their health and social needs by prioritizing the needs of their loved ones. The caregivers’ self-neglect harms their health and affects their loved ones’ well-being. The caregivers are offered resources, education, and support groups that help to navigate “aging in place” for their family members.

The regular day for a participant at an Adult Day Health Care center starts in the morning when the center’s transportation arrives at the individual’s residence for a pickup. Upon arriving at a center, participants are greeted by the staff, and the services begin. The center’s staff is there to make sure that the needs of every participant are met and are helping with all the activities of daily living, including eating, personal hygiene, and toileting. Those who require the administration of medicines, or other treatments before breakfast, are guided to the nursing room. After a hot breakfast, there are many exciting events, such as exercise groups, arts and crafts tables, games, music, and various other stimulating activities. During the same time, physical, occupational, and speech therapies, nursing treatments, social work groups, and counseling are offered per individual care plans. A hot, nutritious lunch follows. The meals are delicious, culturally appropriate, and served according to individual diets ordered by the staff dietitian. After lunch, transportation is ready to take participants home.

Every Adult Day Health Care center has a medical director on staff; however, nurses, social workers, and therapists communicate with participants’ doctors, take orders, follow up with effectiveness, and report provided treatments.

Traditionally, services at Adult Day Health Care centers are offered in the congregated setting. However, the industry keeps evolving. As a result of current public health developments, regulations allow providing remote/telehealth services and services at the doorstep in case of an emergency, including the deliveries of meals. This change in regulations would allow continuity of care when an individual cannot receive care in person in case of a crisis.

Adult Day Health Care is covered for qualified individuals by Medi-Cal/GCHP, Tri-Counties Regional Center, Veterans Affairs, long-term care insurances, and private funds. Some individuals, who do not have any of these coverages and cannot afford to pay privately, often wrongfully assume that they do not qualify for Medi-Cal. However, changes in the income threshold, asset limit, and immigration status went into effect in 2022, and the eligibility for Medi-Cal changed for the better. It is worth reaching out to the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program at the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging or contacting social workers at an Adult Day Health Care center near you if you have questions about your eligibility.

To find out if you or your loved one may benefit from Adult Day Health Care, please schedule a visit to two or three of your closest centers and see if the environment and atmosphere are right for you. The centers provide care that does not vary in quality because of gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, or socioeconomic status.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email