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The Gerontologist 46:630-639 (2006)
© 2006 The Gerontological Society of America

Enhancing Quality of Life of Families Who Use Adult Day Services: Short- and Long-Term Effects of the Adult Day Services Plus Program

Laura N. Gitlin, PhD1, Karen Reever, MSG, MPA2, Marie P. Dennis, PhD1, Esther Mathieu, MSW, LCSW2 and Walter W. Hauck, PhD3

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health, Thomas Jefferson University, 130 South 9th Street, Suite 513, Philadelphia, PA 19130. E-mail: laura.gitlin{at}

Purpose: This study examined the short- and long-term effects of Adult Day Services Plus (ADS Plus), a low-cost care management intervention designed to enhance family caregiver well-being, increase service utilization, and decrease nursing home placement of impaired older adults enrolled in adult day care. Design and Methods: We used a quasi-experimental design, to recruit 129 caregivers from three adult day centers. Two centers offered adult day services and ADS Plus (n = 67); the third center (n = 62) offered only routine adult day services. ADS Plus involved a staff social worker who provided care management and support to family caregivers through face-to-face and telephone contact. Education, counseling, and referral services were offered for 12 months.Results: At 3-month follow-up, ADS Plus participants (n = 106) reported less depression (p =.016), improved confidence managing behaviors (p =.013) and enhanced well-being (p =.001) compared with controls. Long-term effects analyses (n = 69) showed that, compared with controls, ADS Plus participants continued to report less depression (p =.005) and enhanced confidence managing behaviors (p =.007). Also, intervention participants used adult day services on average 37 days more than controls (p =.003) and had fewer nursing home placements (n = 8) than controls (n = 17). Implications: ADS Plus is cost efficient and is easy to implement within adult day centers. It affords important clinical and public health benefits, including enhanced caregiver well-being, greater adult day service use, and fewer nursing home placements.

Key Words: Care management • Caregiver burden • Depression

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All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2006 by The Gerontological Society of America.