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Adult Day Services Plus: Augmenting Adult Day Centers With Systematic Care Management for Family Caregivers

REEVER, KAREN E. MSG, MPA; MATHIEU, ESTHER MSW, LCSW; DENNIS, MARIE P. PHD; GITLIN, LAURA N. PHD

FEATURE TOPIC: PARTNERS IN CARE
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Adult Day Services (ADS) is a therapeutic day program for adults who need assistance with activities of daily living to support their ability to continue to live at home. While caregivers appear to personally benefit from ADS, they still report burden and stress. This article describes the ADS Plus program, which adds systematic care management for family caregivers to enhance the well-being of enrollees. ADS Plus begins when the impaired adult enrolls in the adult day center. The ADS Plus staff work collaboratively with family caregivers to identify areas of difficulty with caregiving, develop a care plan to minimize these difficulties, and implement the care plan using counseling, education, referral, and regular supportive follow-up. Specific goals and strategies of care management are tailored to match the needs and situation of each family caregiver. Evaluation of ADS Plus has proven that caregiver care management is feasible to implement and provides statistical and clinically significant benefits for families by reducing burden, increasing confidence in managing problems, and enhancing caregivers' well-being. We recommend that ADS Plus be offered in ADS centers to help improve the quality of life of families and support their caregiving efforts.

Karen E. Reever, MSG, MPA, is project director for Better Jobs Better Care, and was previously CEO of Mid Country Senior Services of the Main Line Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Esther Mathieu, MSW, LCSW, earned her graduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, working primarily in mental health and aging and is project director of ADS Plus.

Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, is professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy and director of the Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Marie P. Dennis holds a PhD in educational psychology and EdM in educational leadership and policy studies. Her research interests include dementia, caregiving, spirituality in aging, and health.

Address correspondence to: Karen E. Reever, MSG, MPA, CARIE, 100 N 17th St, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA. E-mail: reever@carie.org.

The research reported in this article was supported by grant 90CG2557 from the Administration on Aging, National Family Caregiver Program.

©2004Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.