Occupations in adult day care range from administrators to health aides and activities coordinators. Looking at all three occupations will give you a good idea of what adult day care provides for the elderly. Some basic demographic information will enlighten you about the growing need for adult day cares. The older population is growing at a fast pace. In 1990 there were 31 million adults over 65. In 2000, there were 35 million people over 65. The fastest growing age group was those 85 and older. Traditionally, family members have cared for their elderly family members, ideally a daughter takes on the everyday care of the elderly loved. She may choose to work part-time but often devotes 100% of her attention to the elderly loved one. If she needs respite care, so she can be given a rest from the daily challenges of care taking, she will often call an adult day care center.
Adult day care provides care for frail, elderly, stroke victims and other chronic health conditions, adults with developmental diseases like Down’s Syndrome and patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. These special needs patients cannot be left at home alone, so adult day care is a reasonably affordable option. Sometimes the day care specializes in a particular condition, most of the time the day care will offer care for everyone.
Adult Day Care Administrator Educational Requirements
Jobs at adult day cares require a special kind of person. You must be understanding and very patient to hold down each job in this field. The administrators are required to have a college education when employed by larger facilities. Privately owned facilities create their own requirements. You must obtain a statement of good health from a physician and receive a tuberculosis test. You must also submit your fingerprints and be at least 18 years of age. A first aid certification is also required.
Adult Day Care Administrator Job Responsibilties
Your job responsibilities will be monitoring and administering the compliance laws of the state for the entire facility. The administrator will need to supervise the care, nutrition, safety and hygiene of all residents. Administration requires compassion when dealing with families of patients, the ability to manage the financial statements of the facility, like time cards and other employee compensation and the ability to understand licensing laws that apply to the facility and ensure their utilization. The administrator must be prepared with communication skills that include written and oral abilities.
Adult Day Care Administrator Compensation
In a smaller facility the administrator may be required to take on tasks such as resident grooming, leading and coordinating social activities and providing transportation. Generally, they will still be required to keep the facility within legal compliance and the administrator will overlook the activities of the other employees. The compensation for an administrator is often well above 100K.
Adult Day Care Health Aide Job Responsibilities
Health Aides have the most common position that people imagine when you say adult day care worker. Health aides are a part of the nursing staff. They assist with toileting, dressing and grooming and transfers from bed to chair, etc. The aide will assist with foot care, skin care, oral hygiene and urine testing. They will help orient patients struggling with reality, help patients eat, remind patients about medications and help administer other medical aids and they will provide emotional insurance for those struggling with fear. Health aides also help set up events and participate in musical and craft activities.
Adult Day Care Health Aide Education Compensation
To become a health aide you must have proof of current good health and take a TB test. You need good oral and written communication skills and have lots of patience and compassion. You’ll need to track clients’ progress and write reports. It’s also very important to want to work with the frail and the elderly. You can be a health aide with only a high school diploma or GED. You’ll be required to have a home health aide certificate or nursing assistant certificate. You’ll also need CPR and first aid certificates. Compensation for health aides ranges from $7-$9 per hour.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Adult Day Care Activities Coordinator Job Responsibilities
An activities coordinator for an adult day care facility is the person who is responsible for supervising recreation for all the residents and patients for the day care. They must consider those who have limitations and those who are in good health and design programs that provide reasonable participation options for all. Most of their work takes place indoors in the recreation rooms. Sometimes activities are planned for the outdoors. They invite guests to speak from areas such as self defense, horticulture, nutrition and entertainment. The coordinator also supervises activities like crafts, dance classes, board games, fine arts and aerobics.
Adult Day Care Activities Coordinator’s Education and Compensation
It is also the coordinators job to maintain progress notes on each participant. To perform the tasks associated with this position the coordinator must have enthusiasm for the various projects. They must be able to explain many of the arts and crafts projects. Having good oral and written communication skills make it easier to work with all the participants as well as having teaching skills. Again, ingredients that every worker in an adult day care needs to have in abundance are patience and compassion. Prerequisites for obtaining this job are 36 hours of competed training as an occupational therapist or art therapist or social worker, two years experience in a social recreational program and proof of health, TB tests and first aid and CPR certificates. Compensation for this position is from $46k to $53K annually.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Working with adults in an adult day care environment can be quite fulfilling. It is a job for very unique individuals who possess an abundance of caring concern for the elderly of disabled and who have great patience and compassion. The jobs that are available in the industry are growing because the need to assist the growing elderly population is also growing. Jobs are plentiful is many areas, so find the area that interest you the most from administration to health aide to activities coordinator and make the transition.