5 Prevailing Myths About Adult Daycare

Adult daycare centers provide an array of vital services, both to older individuals as well as to caregivers. In this day and age, there remains a considerable amount of confusion about adult daycare. This includes a variety of myths and misconceptions associated with adult daycare. In this article, we address five of the prevailing myths that continue to circulate about adult daycares in the United States. Our objective is to provide you with factual information about adult daycare centers and how they can benefit seniors in various circumstances. These myths are:

  • Adult daycare is a glorified babysitting service for seniors
  • Everyone who goes to an adult day care center is feeble or sick
  • Adult daycares operate on a highly regimented schedule
  • There is no time available for seniors just to sit around and talk at an adult daycare center
  • Caregivers are not allowed to participate in an adult daycare center

Myth #1: Adult Daycare Is a Glorified Babysitting Service for Seniors

At the top of the myths is that adult daycare is nothing more than a glorified babysitting service for older women and men. Unfortunately, this highly inaccurate piece of information deters families from taking advantage of this necessary type of care. The bottom line is that family members and caregivers want seniors to be able to spend their time enjoyably. The idea of a glorified babysitting center likely is not something a senior would find enjoyable. Activities at an adult daycare center are provided in a safe environment under the supervision of trained staff. 

The reality is that adult daycare centers offer a variety of activities for seniors. In addition, three different types of adult daycares are operating across the country. These include:

  • Social adult daycare centers
  • Adult health daycare centers
  • Adult daycare centers for individuals with dementia

Myth #2: Everyone Who Goes to an Adult Daycare Center Is either Feeble or Sick

A good number of older women and men in generally decent health are reluctant to be lumped into a group with elderly people who are feeble or sick. Many older people wrongly conclude that adult daycare centers consist of a bunch of frail people in poor health. 

As mentioned a moment ago, there are three different types of adult daycare options operating in the United States. These distinct options address the needs of seniors with different abilities and needs. For example, a social adult daycare center would be well-suited to an older individual in decent health who wants to socialize. 

If an individual has cognitive issues or dementia, there are options that fit that person’s needs as well. An individual with dementia will not feel out of place in an adult day care center that focuses on the needs of people with this type of cognitive impairment.

Myth #3: Adult Daycares Operate on a Highly Regimented Schedule

Another myth associated with adult daycare centers is that they maintain highly regimented schedules. On some level, the regimented schedule myth is closely related to the babysitting misconception discussed a moment ago.

A social adult daycare center does encourage seniors to participate in any and all activities they may be interested in. However, seniors at an adult daycare center are never forced to take part in anything that is not of interest to them. 

Individuals at adult day programs are capable of making their own decisions about how to spend their day at the center. In fact, many centers are open to new activity suggestions from their participants. 

Myth #4: There Is No Time Available for Seniors to Just Sit Around and Talk at an Adult Daycare Center

The fourth myth associated with an adult day care center is an extension of what was just discussed a moment ago about a highly regimented schedule. This myth is that at an adult daycare center, there is no time for seniors to just sit around and chat with one another. 

The reality is that an invaluable social aspect of attending an adult day care center is the opportunity to simply chat with others. In this day and age, isolation and loneliness are endemic or widespread among the elderly population in the United States. Isolation and loneliness can prove detrimental to both a senior’s mental and physical health. 

Adult daycare centers can offer a wonderful social outlet for older women and men. Many participants in an adult daycare thrive due to a renewed sense of belonging. There are times when seniors develop intense bonds as they mingle with one another and share everything from personal time with one another. Even if an older individual is not particularly outgoing, simply being around new people and experiencing a different environment from time to time can be a refreshing and highly positive change for a senior. 

Myth #5 Caregivers Are Not Allowed to Participate at an Adult Daycare Center

The final persistent myth is that caregivers are not allowed to participate at an adult daycare center. It is true that adult daycare oftentimes is a recourse for a caregiver in need of respite and a break from caregiving duties. Nevertheless, a typical adult daycare welcomes participation in activities by caregivers. Indeed, these centers often have activities and events designed not only for seniors but also for family, friends, and caregivers. 

Caregivers can even be encouraged to participate in adult daycare activities when a senior initially begin attending. This can assist senior women or men in better adjusting to an adult daycare center or program. Oftentimes a senior is more at ease meeting new people, when there is a familiar face around. 

In summary, upon dispelling widespread myths, a senior has the opportunity to see what an adult day care center is all about. The reality is that adult daycare centers can be ideal for many older people who live alone, for seniors with caregivers who need respite care, and even for individuals who live in assisted living and desire some variation in their lives.