When your parent or spouse starts to lose independence, it can be a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved. Many times mom doesn’t want to acknowledge that staying in her home alone is not a safe situation for her any longer. She is scared that if she admits she needs help then that admission will be the first step to her losing control of her life.
Children can see the loss of independence and feel the worry that comes with that realization, but they don’t know what to do to help. Can they find a way to keep mom safe in her home which is where she prefers to live? Should they look at the option of having mom move in with them? Although the heart may be willing, is that even a practical or viable solution to consider?
Spouses step in and try to single handedly provide the necessary safety net. Since being a 24/7 caregiver is one of the most physically and mentally exhausting acts of love that exist, they can quickly become exhausted and in danger of escalating their own health conditions.
What is the answer? Many times there is no one answer, but a combination of answers and resources that sewn together, can become the safety net. One of those resources can be an adult day center. Fortunately, more and more adult day centers are being created and opening their doors.
An adult day center is a place where mom can safely spend the full day or part of the day socializing, participating in activities, eating a nutritious meal, and being watched over. In addition to being an attractive solution for mom, it can also provide a welcome break the caregiver. The caregiver can run errands, pursue a personal interest or maybe just take a nap without worrying about their spouse. Some day centers even have evening and weekend hours.
Adult day centers can be free standing centers or they can be day programs housed within assisted living communities. They are definitely an option worth researching because for many families, once they know the adult day center option exists, it becomes a welcome piece of the safety net.