What is meant by a "Co-op Adult Day" model?
“Co-op” is short for cooperative and is where a group of people work together toward the same goal from which all benefit.
What is the goal of the Co-op Adult Day Community?
To provide financial, emotional/psychological relief to family caregivers, as well as offer education, support and community resources.
How is the co-op different from other adult day programs?
Through the donation of family caregiver time, skills, and talents in the day-to-day operation of the co-op, program staffing costs are reduced with the savings passed on to member participants.
How does “community” come into play in the Co-op Adult Day model?
The volunteer dynamic provides an organic space that promotes interaction amongst the family caregivers and serves to reduce isolation as they collaborate in meeting shared goals and a common purpose.
What kind of activities do volunteers engage in?
Providing meal services, assisting in care receiver supervision, scheduling and leading activities or performing administrative tasks are just a few examples.
How many hours does a family caregiver need to volunteer each day/week?
The level of volunteer time is calculated relative to a loved one’s weekly attendance.
What should you know to get started with the Co-op Adult Day program? How can you integrate it with existing programs?
Decide in advance what your limit of Co-op participants is. Monitor daily attendance to adjust staffing accordingly since client schedules might vary, impacting daily census/staffing needs.
Decide what minimum time you expect from the volunteer, how many days is the day program participant given a discount, etc. In our case, we chose three days at 50% for one day of service.
Clearly identify your needs for volunteers, such as days that you have less staff, more activities occurring, etc; encourage program directors to steer this process to maximize the program benefits. You suggest days and activities/tasks you need help and support with.
Note skills and talents in advance.
Monitor participation and be prepared to address non-compliance.
What are some positive operational outcomes experienced by the Co-op Adult Day model in previous pilots?
Affordability: clients were enrolled that would’ve otherwise not been able to afford the program
Intentional Care: when caregivers are engaged, they are able to support their loved ones more successfully, keeping people at home longer.
Caregiver Enlistment: caregivers feel connected to the program in an ongoing, more direct way.
Marketing Support: the co-op proved to be a valuable word-of-mouth recruitment tool for not only the co-op but also for the existing adult day program. Caregivers are our best marketers; speaking of their own experiences is powerful and organic promotion, stirring interest in others.
Enriched Care: caregivers bring unique talents and skills to provide group activities and 1:1 engagement.
Caregiver Community: caregivers lean on one another and have realistic expectations; not to mention this program, during the extreme staffing challenges, extra volunteers helped fill the gaps.