Cox, who also is an instructor in psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, told the 2003 Joint Conference of the National Council on the Aging and American Society of Aging today (March 15) in Chicago that the census showed 3,407 adult day centers are operating in the United States, serving primarily people with dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) and the frail elderly who do not have dementia.
But, she said, "5,415 new adult day centers are needed nationwide -- 2,424 in rural areas and 3,991 in urban areas."
The study, which was supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also found that adult day centers are a viable, cost-effective long-term care option. "They help keep individuals who are in need of chronic care at home, in the community, with family and friends as long as possible," Cox said.
The study found that most people attending an adult day center live either with an adult child or a spouse. The existence of the center relieves that person of constant care giving, at least Monday through Friday during the day -- the hours the typical center is open.
Cox reported that 43 percent of individuals enrolled in adult day centers need help with toileting, 37 percent with walking and 24 percent with eating.
She said many people are not aware of the level of sophistication of the typical adult day center, "dispelling the myth of being just a babysitting service."
She said the survey showed the average cost of adult day centers is $56 per day, which is considerably under the cost of most other options for the frail elderly and people with dementia. The survey showed that the average daily charge, however, is only $46, indicating that ma
Contact: Robert Conn
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center