A Broader Definition of Day Care

No one wants a life of twiddling their thumbs, with little to occupy their time.  For this reason, the concept of adult day programs was created.*  As the geriatric population becomes larger, the idea of providing appropriate funding to attend these adult day centers has become more popular.  This year, on January 8**, Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) introduced the Adult Day Center Enhancement Act to broaden the idea of who may benefit and should receive funding for adult day center attendance.  The purpose of the Act is to provide funding for, “a program that provides comprehensive and effective services to individuals living with neurological diseases or conditions… that may result in a functional or degenerative disability and to their family caregivers and that may assist participants.”  (This bill funds daytime assistance to the young adults who are disabled, however I can find no information regarding the age limits.)

Related to its assistance to the participant, “adult day programs can offer services, including medical care, rehabilitation therapies, dignified assistance with the activities of daily living, nutrition therapy, health monitoring, social interaction, stimulating activities, and transportation.”  First introduced in 2013, and re-introduced every other year thereafter, H.R. 320 seeks to maintain the quality of life of the disabled population.  As with inflation, the allowed funding will increase every year until 2023.  (The Veterans Home Adult Day Health Care Improvement Act, to which I assume partially refers to veterans with brain injuries, was signed into law on March 27, 2018.)

On January 8, the Adult Day Center Enhancement Act was referred to the House Committee of Energy and Commerce, of which Rep. Lee is a member.  (Last time the Act was introduced, it was referred to the Subcommittee on Health.)  Due to the shutdown, this bill currently has no co-sponsors nor does it have a summary on congress.gov.  Now that the shutdown is over and before the bill may be enacted, it must be evaluated by the Assistant Secretary of Aging.

* On some sites, I have found it titled “adult day care”.  However, it is generally titled “adult day programs” assumedly because “daycare” has a youth connotation.  If one is to think about it though, that inaccurately marks toddlers as the only segment of the population that needs activity during the day.

** I find it heartening that a bill was introduced in Congress during the partial shutdown, which officially began December 22, 2018.

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