Starting an Adult Medical Day Center

Helps promote quality of life and aging in place

Happy senior men and women playing cards
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There is a growing trend to provide care to our elders in the community. That reality, combined with national initiatives to reduce hospitalizations make adult medical day services a good health care solution. In this article, we look at how to start an adult medical day care center. Starting an adult medical day center helps promote quality of life and contributes to aging in place.

The Research

Ask yourself:

  • Is there a viable need?
  • What competition do you face?
  • What regulations must be met?
  • What resources are required?
  • What is the cost of those resources?
  • Will the business be sustainable?
  • Are there are funding sources available?

Licenses and Certifications

Check with your state to find out what licenses, certifications, and requirements must be met. There may also be additional state and federal regulations, such as working with Medicaid and OSHA, which must be followed. 

The Building

When looking for a building, make sure you know how many participants you want because there are square footage requirements.

Other things to consider:

  • One level without steps
  • Handrails
  • Good lighting
  • A bathroom compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • A shower room
  • A treatment room for onsite services you may offer, such as podiatry, rehabilitation, and other medical care, including physician visits.

Staffing Numbers

Your state’s regulations play a major part in staffing a medical adult day care center.

Most states mandate there be at least one staff member per seven clients in the following positions:

  • Program director
  • Registered nurse (RN)
  • Social worker, full or part time
  • Activities coordinator
  • Program assistants

Employee Qualifications

To make a medical adult day services program top-notch, choosing the right hires is vital.

Program Director

  • Good traits are the ability to oversee daily operations and strategize about providing services to keep clients out of long-term care for as long as possible.

Registered Nurse

  • Find someone with experience in geriatrics. Elders can have unique difficulties that younger people don’t, and experience in these matters can avoid unnecessary complications.
  • Choosing someone who is a critical thinker, confident and independent can also be helpful.

Social Worker

  • A social worker should have good knowledge of community resources. Elders in adult day care may need help finding resources or accessing other area services.

Activities Coordinator

  • This person must understand the various intellectual and physical challenges that each individual has, have the ability to be innovative and creative and offer activities which promote the participants’ strengths.

Program Assistants

  • Program assistants must have patience and compassion to work with elders. They should also be able to help with activities that stimulate the minds and exercise the bodies of clients.

Employee Training

In addition to their own specialties, staff members should be trained in CPR, first aid and participate in dementia training, just to name a few things.

Admissions Process

Establish a standard admissions process before opening your business. Decide how many days a week each client can attend.

Door-to-Door Transportation

Because clients often live with adult children who work, or they live by themselves and can’t drive, providing transportation is a huge plus. Door-to-door bus service is important. Drivers should be trained in defensive driving, how to help mobility-impaired clients and how to treat people with mental health issues.

Another bit of advice: If possible, associate your center with a hospital. If family members know that their loved one can have a continuum of care in case of emergency, it will put their minds at ease.

Check with your state about its regulations and to have a passion for assisting the elderly.