We are seeing more and more of the residential model adult day care. Some are quite impressive and are plan of care driven and, due to being in residential settings, smaller and thereby more person-centered. Some of these are actually being courted by hospitals as a means of better monitoring for those recently discharged patients who need that extra effort aimed at stabilization.
From a regulatory perspective some cautions are important. Some care providers are integrating these initiatives into existing group living programs, i.e. community residential group homes or adult foster care. On the surface sounds like a wonderful idea since during the day this can add some extra company for existing residents. Providers just need to be sure they do not bypass regulatory requirements.
Some regulators, including in the U.S. State of Michigan, have asked adult foster care providers to treat day time clients the same as permanent 24/7 residents, completing a Resident Assessment and Resident Care Agreement. This may appear odd to some considering the services provided are quite different and the language of these documents suggests a residency, not a day time usage of the program. This might be evidence that the service and its availability in residential environments may be growing faster than regulators can acclimate to its growth in our neighborhoods.
We are not seeking to communicate that providers should not keep an eye on the needs of those they choose to serve. Everyone must be assessed and you need to follow the directives of regulators even if their work is more assisted living oriented and comes across as puritanical at best.
This advice might help:
- Locate other resources that can complement your assessment processes to be sure you know as much about each user as you possibly can
- Set hours for day time clients that comply with any local regulatory directives
- Check with local authorities to ensure you do not violate any zoning or building safety ordinances
- Be sure and talk to prospective residents to ensure that adult day services do not disturb them in any way
We need these smaller programs which are less overwhelming for so many adult day care users. With an estimated 6 million Americans suffering from some type of dementia, adult day care provides a dignified aging in place process and real relief to family caregivers. We need these initiatives.
However, we also need providers who respect regulatory compliance so your program can serve the community for decades.
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Photos used are just to make a point and may belong to their respective licensees. They must never be received as an indication of the support or endorsement of or by or affiliation with any individual or organization. The word regulator in paragraph 3 above refers to a specific field representative in Michigan’s Bureau of Child and Adult Licensing and not any written directives provided to the public from this department.