Does adult day care accommodate elders with mobility problems?


Q: Dad just had hip surgery. Can he go to adult day care with his mobility problems?

A: It depends upon the adult day care. Did Dad just have surgery yesterday or has he been recuperating for several weeks? Will he have physical therapy at home or in another facility to help speed his recovery?

At my center, The Ivey, we would allow your dad to come as soon as he is able to walk with assistance. Some centers have chair lifts for participants who can't transfer from a wheelchair to another seat. Others may have the necessary staff and safety precautions to transfer participants from a wheelchair to the toilet, shower, or bathing tub.

Typically, your dad would need to be able to walk with assistance and use the washroom with assistance. This standard is most typical due to safety reasons, both for the participant and the staff.

Visit the adult day care you have in mind ahead of time and discuss how they handle mobility issues. You may also be able to arrange for a physical therapist to provide services there. My center maintains a contract with a physical therapist who serves our clients on request. In most situations, the physical therapist may bill you or your insurance provider directly.

Be sure to ask your dad's physician for approval that your dad is ready to attend adult day care before getting started. Good luck!

Lynn Ivey left her banking career to care for her mother with dementia. Adult day care became a critical component for her mother, providing social stimulation and medical supervision, while enabling her to continue living at home.

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Lynn is right. There are day care centers for the elderly that do provide care for those who have mobility problems. The trick is to find one near you. Try to connect with someone else who is caring for a parent or elder with mobility problems and see what they do. Your doctor's office might know, ask the secretary or the nurse. Go on line with your states Office of Aging or Health Department.
You're right to want extra help. My dad's insurance only paid for 6 weeks. That wasn't nearly long enough. The therapist who worked for the insurance company also did extended care for a small fee. If your therapist doesn't do that, perhaps he or she can recommend someone who does. It's worth it. My dad was up and walking with help until the day before he died (of pancreatic cancer -- a much easier death than pneumonia. Blessings on your search.
Some day cares are set up for it and some are not. The one where I live is very cramped and does not even have a room, or rooms, for those who need to lie down and rest, or want to have down time, which is one reason my mother refuses to go there. Social workers with rehab can help a lot with making sure the area is safe for those who have had surgery.