September 20-26 is National Adult Day Services Week. DHEC is proud of the 88 licensed adult day care facilities, or ADCs, that have shown compassion and dedication to their communities. Their services not only allow caregivers a more flexible schedule, but they improve the livelihood of the adult day care participants.
ADCs provide – 4-14 hours of daily care, including, recreational activities, arts & crafts, discussion groups, meals and day trips.
ADCs are not the same as long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. An ADC will normally operate during normal business hours, while some may offer evening or weekend hours. Some ADCs specialize and cater to specific populations such as those with developmental disability or those in need of memory care.
How ADCs are coping with COVID-19
Conway Adult Day Care and Loris Adult Day Care are two ADCs that closed for two months from March to May 2020. During the closure, the staff checked in with participants, regularly making calls and offering assistance with essential tasks, such as grocery and medicine pick-up.
After reopening, social distancing measures and transmission prevention protocol were implemented.
“We have no-touch temperature checks for staff and before participants are granted access to the bus, as well as a questionnaire. Participants are encouraged to use hand sanitizer upon arrival to the facility and a mask when not seated at a table. Tables are six feet apart, limited to two people each and have plexiglass sneeze-guard,.” Colon said.
“A huge shout out to my employees of both facilities and our wonderful van drivers. This is a difficult time, as they are required to implement frequent cleaning and sanitizing measures on top of their already busy day. They have done so without complaining and are working together to provide this much needed service to our participants as well as their families,” Colon said.
Samantha Kreighauser, the Chief Executive Officer of Adult Enrichment Centers, developed various creative ways to continue to engage and interact with adult day care participants in each of her facilities, including virtual programming for participants, weekly calls with participants, and sending packets and activities to participants’ homes.
When centers reopened on Sept. 1, the reunion was bittersweet.
“We are social beings and thrive when we can participate in activities and socialize with others,” Kreighauser said. “My staff are rock stars. They created awesome programming almost overnight to keep our members engaged, they tackled the logistics of COVID and adapted without complaint. They protect our members by going the extra mile with cleaning and distancing and they still manage to keep it fun and personal.”
Ally Myers of Lake City Community Care Center said they were not sure how many participants would return upon reopening, but many did return and families noted their loved ones spirits being lifted since returning to the facility.
“It has been so uplifting to see everyone so excited to be back together again. It has been a great reminder of why we do what we do here,” Myers said.
“We have all had to adapt. It has been pure joy to see all my staff and participants come together during this pandemic. Without a doubt, I have the best participants and staff anyone could ask for. A big thank you to all of them from me for being so patient and understanding as we try and figure this out”.
More facts about ADCs
- Adult Day Services Week has been celebrated the third full week of September every year since it was first proclaimed by Ronald Reagan in 1983
- Almost 78% of ADCs are nonprofit or public
- The average age of participants is 72 and two-thirds of participants are women
DHEC licenses and regulates the facilities providing adult day care services in South Carolina. DHEC is currently in the process of amending the regulation for licensed adult day care facilities and the official public comment period for the Notice of Proposed Regulation (NPR) is open until Monday, September 28, 2020, at 5:00 pm. Public comments can be submitted to DHEC regarding the proposed regulation via email to email@example.com or by submitting a response in the Public Comment Form until September 28th.