By Lynn Ivey
Q: Is there somewhere to send an elderly person with dementia temporarily so that I can go on vacation for a week?
A: Many adult day care centers would be happy to have your loved one for a week. Your elder might enjoy it enough to want to continue. And you might discover that the respite benefits for you are well worth the cost.
You will have to do some advance planning. The center will do an "intake assessment" with you before the week begins to understand the participant's medical history and challenges. As part of the normal assessment, medical records will be obtained from your family physician. If medications are to be given to your loved one at the adult day care center, these medications should be brought in with their original prescription bottles labeled with your loved one's name.
In other words, you'll need to complete the same type of forms, and provide the same type of information, as if your loved one was attending the center for a longer time.
At my center, to comply with our state's regulations, we require new intake and assessment information if we have not served a participant for at least 30 days. So if someone uses our center on August 1, then returns to spend the day on September 15, updated information will be necessary prior to September 15. Other states may have different regulations regarding when new information must be provided. Ask the center you are considering for their policy.
If you need more than a week's vacation, consider using a center once a week, perhaps on a Monday or Friday to give yourself some relaxation time before or after the weekend.