Adult day services centers continue to weather the storm brought on by COVID-19. But it has not been easy. Many centers have been forced to shut their doors, according to the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA).

The financial and overall impact has been significant, Lance Roberts, associate director of membership and education at NADSA, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily. He cited the closures and the costs associated with personal protective equipment, sanitization and remote services. He also stressed the pandemic’s effect on the well-being of seniors who no longer can go to adult day services centers. 

Adult day services is a professional care setting in which older adults, adults living with dementia, or adults living with disabilities receive individualized therapeutic, social and health services for some part of the day. NADSA identified 5,685 day programs operating in the United States in 2014. 

But even with the costs associated with the public health emergency, Roberts said there’s a pandemic-related silver lining:  “The pandemic has stimulated creative measures for delivering services such as activities, meals and health monitoring,” he said. “These measures will likely continue after the pandemic subsides. Additionally, technology companies have adapted their hardware and software to help centers provide additional services to participants.”

The pandemic also has led to waivers that permitted Medicaid coverage of remote services, he said. 

“States took advantage of these waivers so centers could receive payments for remote services,” he said. “At the federal level, the long-term goal is the inclusion of adult day services (ADS) as part of Medicare coverage. ADS is cost-effective and an essential part of the long-term care continuum.”