What to look for when Seeking Adult Daycare

I don’t know what the hell adult day care has to do with creating a happy marriage. However, it could be a factor in making a very unhappy marriage. If an aged, very sick, mentally or physically, relative moves into a home with a young couple who have children, it can be a problem.

We had it happen to us when our two kids were age five and one. We accepted an 85-year-old because she had financial problems and could no longer afford apartment rent. The kids, a boy and a girl, had to share a bedroom, which was the beginning of many more disruptions. She also shared their bathroom, often spending so much time there that the kids had to wait or line up to use ours.

She had difficulty sleeping, so we and the kids sometimes would be awakened as she shuffled and mumbled through the hallways. She insisted on cooking her own food, which disrupted our dining routing, particularly in the morning when each of us had to meet schedules and get out of the house. On several occasions, she left water boiling on the stove, the refrigerator door open and other potential hazards.

As her mental and physical condition deteriorated, we couldn’t let her be alone in the kitchen, nor trust her enough to leave the kids with her when we went out of the house. Finally, with both of us working and willing to shell out the cost, we decided to hire a daycare worker. We called an agency, and a few days later, a grossly-fat woman not much younger than our boarder, shuffled into our lives.

Because of her own slowed-down condition, the worker proved to be useless. She ignored her duties to watch TV and smell up the house with her chain smoking. After a week, we fired her and called another agency, specifically asking for a younger, more responsible, non-smoking worker. This happened several times before we finally found a competent daycare person, a retired nurse who still had the energy and sense of responsibility to do the job.

Therefore, from our own experience, we can state that the job of finding a daycare provider is simple. Finding an adequate one isn’t so simple. Perhaps the best way to start is to ask friends and neighbors who’ve had the experience to recommend agencies and/or individuals. Check with your family physician for suggestions. Of course, check with Medicare, Medicaid and appropriate private insurance agencies to find out what, if any, financial aid is available to you.

Adult daycare is expensive and getting more costly every day, so be sure you aren’t shelling out a lot of money from your own savings if you or your elderly relative have any financial coverage for the service. You can also make plans for the inevitable time when daycare is no longer adequate for a person in severe deteriorating physical and/or mental health. For the sake of your marriage and your kids, you’ll need to make a tough decision as to when nursing home care is necessary.