Wake Forest to conduct nationwide census and survey of adult day centers

December 20, 2000

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - In an effort to determine the state of the field of adult day services, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded Wake Forest University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry a $400,000 grant to assess the scope and adequacy of adult day services in the United States. It is expected that this assessment will identify gaps in both availability and utilization of these services.

This comprehensive study is the first of such magnitude, and will be under the direction of Partners in Caregiving, a national program on adult day services that has been supported by the Foundation since 1987.

The census will seek to determine how many adult day centers exist and where they are located. "While our best guess is that there are 4,000 day centers across the country, no one really knows the number, much less where services are either unavailable or underutilized," said Burton V. Reifler, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and Director of Partners in Caregiving.

Once the count of adult day centers is complete, they will all be surveyed to find out who they serve, what services they offer, if the center is full (or underutilized), and who is paying for the service. Then, when the profile is complete, and gaps in services are identified, the results will be used by the Foundation in shaping its future directions in the field. "We hope the results will be valuable planning information for local, state, and federal officials as well," said Reifler.

There are many times when an adult day center is the perfect option to nursing home placement for older people or families who want their loved one to stay at home. Says Reifler, "Adult day centers are one of the country's best kept secrets. Through the census and survey, we will learn what needs to be done next to expand the role of adult day centers as an effective community-based solution to long-term care. I believe it will take at least 10,000 centers to meet our national needs and the census and survey will be the road map to get us there."
For further information, contact Sarah Cheney, Communications Officer, Partners in Caregiving, Department of Psychiatry, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, (336) 716-4941.

[Partners in Caregiving, in the Department of Psychiatry at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, is a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Since 1987, the Foundation, in partnership with the university, has played an important role in the evolution of adult day services in the United States.]

[The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, NJ, is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in three goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to basic health care at reasonable cost; to improve care and support for people with chronic health conditions; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse - tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs.]

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

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