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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.


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