Patchwork Quilt

Monday, August 7, 2017

Adult day services: The overlooked option

More and more Iowans are stepping into the role of family caregiver for their loved ones. Many of them find the responsibilities of that role very demanding and life changing. Often, caregivers have difficulties finding a balance between caring for their loved ones and taking care of themselves. Without that self-care, itís not long before the caregiver begins to show signs of burnout and compassion fatigue.

Adult day services are a vital source of respite care for family caregivers. Studies have shown that adult day care services help reduce stress and decrease symptoms of depression for family caregivers. Also, families have reported that loved ones who used adult day services had positive reactions, been easier to manage and are more active and alert.

These services are designed for adults over 18 years of age, who are experiencing physical or memory impairments that make it unsafe for them to stay at home alone or who are in need of socialization.

In the Elderbridge Agency on Aging service area, there are two adult day services; Schmoker Adult Day Services at Friendship Haven in Fort Dodge and The Salvation Army Adult Day Health Center in Mason City.

Both of these services offer similar programs to their participants. A large community area serves as the location for group activities and meals, while more secluded areas provide a place to rest or to enjoy a quiet moment. There are multiple activities each day, such as games, sing-a-longs, outings or chapel services.

Participants may come for full days or half days, partial or full weeks. There are a variety of payment options, such as long term care insurance, Medicaid, Veteranís benefits or participants can chose to pay for these services out of their own pockets. Also, transportation from home to the center may be available for an additional fee.

For further information about these services, contact the Schmoker Adult Day Service in Fort Dodge, call 515-573-2121 or The Salvation Army ADHC in Mason City, call 641-424-0800.

For more information on other aging related issues contact Elderbridge Agency on Aging at or 800-243-0678. You may also contact LifeLong Links at or 866-468-7887.