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Use of Adult Day Services Centers Are on the Rise

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The number of adult day services centers has increased 35% in the United States since 2002, a report from the MetLife Mature Market Institute reported Tuesday.

The report, which was conducted with the National Adult Day Services Association and The Ohio State University College of Social Work, found these centers provided care for approximately 260,000 people, and 29% of centers have a waiting list.

In 2002, the report found, there were eight patients for every worker in an adult day service center. In 2010, the ratio has dropped to 1:6. In addition to more focused care, the level of service has improved as well. The vast majority of these centers provide "cognitive stimulation" programs (90%) and 80% have memory training. Eighty percent of service centers have a professional nursing staff, and half have a social work professional.

Fifty-eight percent of participants are women, and 30% are under 65. The average participant, according to the report, is a 65-year-old white female with dementia, hypertension, or a physical disability which requires help with at least one activity of daily living and medication management. Over one-quarter of participants live with an adult child; 21% live with a spouse and 20% live alone.

A recent Genworth report on caregivers found nearly half of people who serve as the primary caregiver for a family member reported they have lost a job, changed shifts or missed a career opportunity as a result.

Dr. Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, noted in a press release that adult day services centers a buffer against financial losses for caregivers. "They also benefit family caregivers by enabling them to remain in the workforce or receive needed respite and support services," she said.  

Seventy percent of adult day services centers provide educational programs for caregivers; 58% provide support groups and 40% provide individual counseling.

The report found adult day services centers collect an average fee of $61.71, just short of the average daily cost of $68.89. Thecenter makes up the shortfall through grants, fundraising activities, and donations. Over half of revenue comes from publicly-paid funds (55%); 26% is paid with private funds. Still, approximately 15% of centers reported zero revenue from publicly funded participant fees and 20% of ADS centers reported zero revenue from privately paid participant fees, according to the report.

"These statistics are of interest as they indicate a lack of diversity in funding for over one-third of ADS centers. This lack of diversity may leave these ADS centers particularly vulnerable to economic shifts and changes in public policy, in particular on the state level," the report authors wrote.

"The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the health care reform bill), and an increasing focus on managing chronic illness within the Medicare program, speaks to the importance of developing care models such as Adult Day Services to meet the needs of a growing population of older Americans," Timmerman said in a statement.


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