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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does insurance pay for adult day services?
A: Some long-term care insurance policies pay for adult medical day services; however, insurance does not pay for non-medical, or social day services. It is important to look carefully at a long-term care policy to understand when the policy will begin payment. The Maryland Medical Assistance Program will pay for adult medical day services for eligible individuals. In addition, there are other funds that may assist in payment. The Baltimore County Senior Information and Assistance Office can guide you to the proper options; call 410-887-2594. In other areas of the state contact the local Maryland Access Point (MAP) Office.

Q: What is the difference between an adult day center and a senior center?
A: Both adult day centers and senior centers provide recreation. An adult medical day center also provides medical monitoring by a licensed nurse, help with basic activities of daily living and services for caregivers. Senior centers offer many services, classes and health and fitness opportunities. Usually, persons attending senior centers are able to get around independently and take advantage of the many opportunities available there. If an older person needs a fair amount of assistance, monitoring due to memory problems or someone to give him or her medications during the day, an adult medical day center is the better choice.

Q: What if my loved one refuses to go to the center after I sign them up?
A: It is frequently difficult to convince the older person to try an adult day center; change is difficult for everyone. Focus on the things at the center that he or she may enjoy. Ask the staff if you can stay a little while the first few days to help your loved one through the transition. Don't give up! It may take up to a month to get your loved one accustomed to this new routine. This is especially difficult for persons with dementia.

Q: The center wants to discharge my loved one for repeatedly walking out of the center. What can I do?
A: Ask the nurse to speak with your loved one's doctor to discuss if their wandering is because of a progression of dementia; there may be a medication that will help. Some adult day centers have installed devices that signal to staff when a participant has left the building. Ask the staff if they have such a device. If discharge cannot be avoided, consider looking for a new day center that has warning devices (like the one described above) on the doors.

Q: I work longer hours than the center is open. My loved one is not safe at home alone. What can I do?
A: Many centers offer respite care. This can help by allowing you to take your loved one to the center before regular hours and/or have her remain after normal hours. A trained staff person will be present, but nursing services are available only during regular hours. Ask each center you are considering if they offer extended hours.

Q: How do I know when my loved one needs an adult day center?
A: If an older person needs some supervision during the day or help taking medications properly because of a memory problem, an adult medical day center may be the right choice. If your loved one is recovering from major surgery or a stroke and needs some additional care and supervision during the recuperation process, a temporary placement at a day center may help. If your parent is not safe at home, needs some medical supervision or could benefit from interaction with others to combat depression, you may want to look at a day center.

Q: Is transportation provided?
A: A center is required to arrange for, or provide, transportation to and from the day center. If you wish to provide transportation, the center may adjust the daily fee.

Q: My loved one is a proud person and will not tolerate being talked down to. Could an adult day center work with them?
A: At adult day centers, participants are treated with respect and dignity. Activities are geared for the age and ability level of the participants. A good day center will offer your loved one a variety of activities, as well as the companionship of others. If your loved one lives in an area in which there are several centers from which to choose, you should visit all possibilities, look at the activities offered and choose the center that provides the best choice of options for your loved one.