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old man When do you enroll a parent in day care? How do you know the time has arrived?

Answers vary, but it's smart to be proactive. Investigate options early on; don't wait for a catastrophe.

Marilyn's father almost burned down the house. On a chilly March afternoon while she was out grocery shopping, he decided to warm-up the kitchen. He stuffed wood and newspaper into the oven and lit it with a match. Fortunately, a neighbor spotted the smoke and called the fire department. No one was hurt and damage was minimal.

Marilyn had been thinking about daycare for her father; now, she knew it was imperative. Jennifer's mother loves visits from her younger sister. When Jennifer gets home from work, her mother tells her all about 'Aunt Mary's' latest travels. The only problem is Aunt Mary is deceased. She died years ago. Jennifer's mom only imagines the visits. If Jennifer didn't know better, however, she'd swear Aunt Mary had just there. When the imaginary visits became more frequent, Jennifer knew her mother could benefit from adult daycare.

Larry Johnson's mother went missing one Saturday morning. Bertha Johnson walked out of the house and boarded a bus to visit a second son who lived in another part of town. It was the wrong bus. Bertha got off at the end of the line and started walking. And walking. And walking. A good Samaritan who thought it was dangerous for an elderly woman to be walking on a busy highway at dusk offered her a ride. He knew something was wrong when Bertha was vague about where she wanted to go. The man asked her for identification and phoned her family. This wasn't the first time that Bertha Johnson had "gone missing." It was, however, a new record for distance. Larry Johnson and his brother immediately decided it was time for adult daycare.

These are a few examples of seniors who could benefit from adult daycare. The ideal candidate for day care live with family members, has some measure of independence but needs help with activities of daily living including greater social involvement. The real point is explore daycare options before things are completely out of control. Day care can enhance the quality of a parent's life as well as your own.

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