Adult day programs provide service to community

Margaret Brackett Contributing Columnist

October 2, 2013

A special Notes edition is presented this week to introduce Coretta D. Bedsole, owner of Palmetto Public Affairs, a full service lobbying and advocacy firm that specializes in representing nonprofits and professional and trade associations.

Coretta Bedsole’s lobbying background dates back to 1984 when she began her career as the on-staff lobbyist and Director of Governmental Affairs and Development for the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association (now known as the S.C. Association for Justice).

“Representing clients whose work I support and ensuring public policy makers have good information on which to base their decisions is the key to my view of the role of lobbyist,” Bedsole says.

“As the Principal of Palmetto Public Affairs Firm and the purposes of this interview, I would like to focus on the work I am doing for our small business clients; home and community based services providers. These two provider groups provide the bulk of home and community based services covered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ community long term care waiver programs,” she said.

The significant role of adult day programs: Adult day-health programs are designed to address the needs of our state’s aging and disabled populations. The programs take a holistic approach to the person by tailoring services to meet the individual’s needs. Adult day programs are preventive oriented and cost efficient.

Who is eligible for adult day programs? Adult day programs accept participants from the aging and disabled populations. Referrals can be made from a variety of sources. However, if the participant is a Medicaid recipient, services must be authorized through DHHS’s Community Long Term Care or the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

What services do adult day programs provide?: Programs can range from case management, assistance with activities of daily living to social interaction. Adult day programs have planned activities, field trips, staff to assist with bathing and other hygiene needs, nursing staff to assist with medicine management, medical monitoring, dressing and wound care and care coordination with the primary health care provider. Most adult day programs provide door-to-door transportation to and from the facility. Each adult day care program must have a registered nurse on staff as well as nursing assistants based on the number of participants. Adult day programs are required to offer a nutritious lunch and snack. Some programs also offer other meals or assistance with eating breakfast.

When are programs available to participants? Adult day programs are required to provide for a minimum stay of five hours. Most centers are available to accept participants Monday through Friday as early as 7:30 a.m., and services are often provided until 5:30 p.m. Some centers operate from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. while others may operate from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Where are adult day programs located? Adult day programs are available throughout the state. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, there are currently over 90 licensed adult day programs in the state of South Carolina.

Why should adult day programs be a priority for our state? Adult day services are very cost efficient. Adult day is an excellent bang for the buck given that each participant receives a lunch, a snack and a laundry list of services tailored to his/her needs. Adult day services provide an excellent opportunity for seniors and disabled adults, who would otherwise be forced into institutional or nursing home care, to remain at home with family and loved ones. Adult day provides an opportunity to age in place; live the sunset years of one’s life with dignity surrounded by loved ones and eases the workload of the caregiver.

What is personal care? Personal and home care aides help people who are elderly, disabled, ill, or mentally disabled to live in their own homes instead of in health facilities or institutions. Most personal and home care aides work with clients who need more extensive personal and home care than family and friends can provide. Personal care providers are a significant part of community long term care. The programs take a holistic approach to the person by tailoring services to meet the individual’s needs. Personal care is preventive in nature and plays a role in reducing health care costs.

Who is eligible for personal care? Personal care providers place aides and nurses in client’s home under the Community Long Term Care and Disabilities and Special Needs programs. They also provide private care and staffing at times. Participants must meet eligibility requirement as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.

What services are provided by personal care? To provide the best possible care, these are some of the services that providers can offer their clients and clients’ families: bathing and grooming, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, grocery shopping and prescription pick-ups.

When are Programs available to participants? Services are provided on one hour increments and are available throughout the day based on the number of hours the participant requires.

Why should personal care programs be a priority for our state? One of the great advantages of in-home care is that it permits an older or disabled person to remain independent and comfortable in familiar surroundings. Families are better able to supervise the care received both as to quality and cost, and to prevent care that is neither necessary nor desired. There can be significant financial savings because there are no costs for unnecessary services or for institutional overhead.”