New Jersey Elderly Immigrants Increasingly Using Adult Health Day Care Centers
The number of elderly Hispanics, Koreans and Russian residents in New Jersey using adult health day care centers has increased to the extent that facilities are beginning to require the availability of culturally appropriate services, the Bergen Record reports. Seniors using such centers require daily medical supervision but are healthy enough that they do not require hospitalization.
Over the last 10 years, the number of adult day care centers in the state has doubled, and 12,000 seniors use such facilities regularly. State officials do not break down their data to separate out facilities that focus on culture or nationality.
The centers offer a combination of social activities and medical care for seniors for a few hours, several days of the week. Some centers also offer food from other countries, as well as programs in other languages.
It can be difficult for elderly immigrants who recently moved to the U.S. to adapt to U.S. culture, the Record reports. "Many come from countries where extended relatives live under one roof, meaning that someone is usually home at any given time," but in the U.S., many family members have to leave home during the day for work or school, leaving elderly family members home alone, according to the Record.
Antonio Gines, CEO of Patterson, N.J.-based Mi Casa Es Su Casa, said, "The immigrant population is one of the fastest-growing in this area, and people are living longer, thanks to advances in medicine." He added, "When you combine them, it creates a need (for these facilities)" (Llorente, Bergen Record, 1/29).