Not only does senior day programming give caregivers a break, but it can also helpt to keep a loved one out of facility living for as long as possible. Program activities provide seniors with social engagement through exercises that promote happiness and healthy sleeping patterns. Senior programs can also incorporate dementia care – bonus!
Evolution of Dementia Care
The evolution of dementia day care services is interesting. Day programs for seniors with dementia first emerged in the 1930s in Moscow and Quebec. Attached to psychiatric hospitals during this time, dementia day programs began. Over the next several decades, the UK saw “day hospitals” for the elderly open within the community. In the 1960’s de-institutionalization of mental health hospitals occurred in the USA. This also prompted the opening of day programs for seniors with dementia.
Many people use dementia day care services. Anyone who needs a supported day can gain benefit from their use. People affected with social isolation, dementia, brain injury, cognitive delay and physical impairments frequent the R&R day program.
Benefits of Day Programs for Seniors with Dementia
Day programs for seniors with dementia offer many benefits to both caregivers and the people who use them. Caregivers often find reprieve in respite care and report restored confidence in managing behaviours and maintaining a sense of control. Caregivers that use dementia day care services also get the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities. It allows them to engage in activities they once were involved in before their loved one became ill.
Research also indicates that day programs can alleviate caregivers stress, depression, grief, anger, and anxiety. For the care recipient, a day program can provide recreational and social opportunities that are stimulating and fun.
Literature also indicates that dementia care can reduce the care recipient from moving into a facility. As a common side effect of in-home caregivers providing dementia care, day programs for seniors with dementia can reduce the caregiver from feeling a sense of invasion in their own home. It also provides an opportunity where the care recipient can leave their home and participate in the community.