Jennings supports individuals through life’s changes and challenges with residences and services that emphasize choice and person-directed care.
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Families provide an incredible support network. According to the John A. Hartford Foundation, there are 53 million family caregivers providing care to a loved one in the United States. Many of these family members are assisting a loved one who is aging, which can be difficult to balance responsibilities of working and caring for children. Options such as adult day services can help family members find this balance.
Of the many choices available, adult day services offer a balance of helping an individual to stay at home as well as supporting family caregivers. "Adult day services support families by providing an active and safe space for a loved one, especially those living with Alzheimer's Disease or other cognitive challenges," explains Kathy LiPuma, Director of Adult Day Services at Jennings. "Family members can go to work, attend to other responsibilities or simply recharge. Meanwhile, the older adult is engaged with their peers in a caring environment."
Family members often remark that their loved ones who participate in adult day services are more relaxed in the evenings because they have spent the day in a positive, productive way. Adult day services provide a good balance of activities, social stimulation, personal care and access to medical care in an environment where they are safe. Activities vary throughout the day for social, physical and cognitive stimulation and can be customized to individual interests as much as possible. Adult day center participants also attend campus events, such as concerts, speakers and intergenerational programs.
Adult day services support families and also work hand in hand with home care. Where adult day services provide social stimulation and access to care, home care provides one on one support in the evenings and on weekends. Combining these services can help family members customize a solution that best supports them while also making their best plan financially.
The AARP Public Policy Institute found that in 2021 there were approximately "38 million caregivers providing an average of 18 hours of care per week for a total of 36 billion hours of care..." Families - especially spouses - will often struggle with what to do when they are feeling overwhelmed, but still want to fulfill their commitment to care for their loved one. They don’t want to feel like they’re giving up. Adult children, who are providing more and more care to their aging parents, may struggle with role reversal, of becoming the caregiver for the person that supported them through much of their life.
In fact, some families use adult day services as a bridge to consider assisted living or long-term care as their loved one's memory or physical ability changes. The stability of the Jennings staff, along with their knowledge and experience with dementia, provide an enriching daily experience. Their consistent and compassionate relationships with participants help develop a long-term trusting foundation, especially as their needs change.
President Joe Biden delivered a proclamation for National Family Caregiver Month, stating in part: "How we treat our children, parents, and loved ones and how we value those who care for them are fundamental to who we are as a Nation. Early care and education give young children a strong start in life while long-term care helps older Americans, veterans, and people with disabilities live and work with dignity. During National Family Caregivers Month, we honor the Americans who lift up our communities and our Nation by providing dignified, professional, and invaluable care to the people we cherish the most."
While families may pay privately for adult day services, there are benefits and community-based programs that can help cover the cost. For additional information, contact Kathy LiPuma, Director of Adult Day Services at Jennings, at (216) 581-2902, ext. 2277.
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