By Dr. Nicholas Nikolopoulos, Chief Medical Officer, PACE-RI
Families are dynamic units with changing needs and PACE-RI plays an important role in that continuum of life.
When children are young and need assistance with nearly everything, daycare is a great solution for many families. They provide food, a safe environment, mental stimulation, and the opportunity to socialize. Childcare provides parents the opportunity to work and the peace of mind of knowing that their loved one is safe.
Adult daycare provides that same kind of warm, welcoming, and safe environment for families on the other end of life’s spectrum. With age and infirmity, perhaps your loved one needs help eating. Or do they sometimes forget to take their medicines? Maybe they wander and you’re exhausted? Or perhaps they are lonely when you go out for errands or to work and you’re in search of a place where they can be safe?
Adult daycare can meet all these needs included below and provide professional care for your loved ones before returning them safely back to join you at home at the end of the day.
Anyone who has cared for someone who is elderly and infirm knows how exhausting it can be. Regardless of the years, you’ve spent together or the profound love that you feel for the person who needs you, caregiving can take its toll. Lack of sleep, physical requirements, and the 24/7 demands of the position can be draining.
Sometimes you may just need a break as a caregiver. Recognizing that you need time for yourself is an act of self-preservation. You need to be rested and healthy to provide your loved one with the best care.
Adult day at PACE-RI provides you with the opportunity to go to the salon for a fresh haircut or provide you with a few hours to catch up on medical paperwork. You can have that mammogram or colonoscopy that the doctor ordered for you months ago. Or you can enjoy a good cup of coffee, uninterrupted, with a friend.
You are not alone in needing a change of scenery for mental health. Your loved one could also benefit from socialization. As we saw in during the pandemic, isolation can have detrimental effects on people. While we recognize the human cost of loneliness and depression, there are financial impacts as well. According to a 2017 study conducted by the AARP, the cost to Medicare of social isolation and loneliness was estimated at $6.7 billion a year. Those costs are associated with higher risks of obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Being with people at an adult day center can help preserve your loved one’s quality of life.
In the PACE Adult Day program, your loved one will develop new friendships and interact with care professionals each day. They will have the opportunity to participate in activities that suit their interests and be introduced to new hobbies if they choose.
While human interaction helps your mental health, don’t forget that ”You’re never too old to start moving.” Physical movement is critical to overall well-being and a 2022 study released in the Journal of American Medicine confirms that assertion. Adults who participate in balance training and muscle-strengthening activities with aerobic exercise have a better quality of life. The research found that people 65+ who did strength training at least two times a week lived longer than their counterparts who did less than two — and if 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise a week was added, they had a 30 percent lower risk of mortality. That means that the walking club, chair yoga, resistance bands, and balance classes offered at the PACE Adult Day Center can have a measurable difference in the life of your loved one.
Regular exercise will result in increased blood flow, better balance, and less stress which can have a positive effect on people with hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Activities of Daily Living
If your loved one is having difficulty with toileting, showering, or walking, adult day center services can help. We have certified nursing assistants on staff who will attend to their needs, keeping them clean, safe, and happy. Our dieticians will ensure that a tasty meal is prepared specifically to meet their nutritional requirements. And if your loved one needs assistance feeding themselves, PACE Day Center staff can help too.
Even though Rhode Island is a small state, our roadways can sometimes be clogged and congested. Driving conditions may also be unpredictable during New England winters but arriving at our PACE Day Centers is always a breeze. Participants do not need to be concerned about the reliability of public transportation, weather conditions, or private ride provider timeliness. We have locations in Westerly, East Providence, Newport, and Woonsocket and will provide safe door-to-door transportation for your loved one. It’s one less thing you need to think about in your role as a busy caregiver.
PACE Adult Day Centers are busy, happy places where elders can make friends, be mentally stimulated, and get a good meal. We are a safe and well-supervised program that provides peace of mind.
Being a good caregiver doesn’t always mean having to provide care for yourself. We all need help in managing the demands of our lives and occasionally we need rest and restorative time for ourselves. PACE Adult Day partners with caregivers to offer best-in-class programming quality, and compassionate care for elders so that you can manage your own care, work, and the competing demands of your entire family.