Adult day care centers and adult day care for seniors

Adult day care centers and adult day care for seniors


The adult day care centers have filled a very important gap in the market for senior living care, since they allow for a delay in the need for an assisted living community or nursing homes. Adult day care centers can provide their residents with socialization and care services while, on the other side, the caregivers are provided with a much-needed break. In this article, we will go over what can be expected from such specialized senior care centers. 

Why Adult Day Care?

More and more seniors are getting in the situation where some or most of their needs are not being met back at home. While these needs can be as mundane as the need for socialization with peers, some can be of a more crucial nature like the help required with a chronic disease like diabetes. In the cases where the senior is receiving living assistance back at home from a caregiver who might be a friend or a family member, the caregivers are not trained to handle the senior’s ever-increasing needs or they don’t have the time. 

While it is possible for these needs to be carried out by an institutionalized care like assisted living or nursing homes, they aren’t always optional for many reasons, most of them being financial.

Adult day care facilities take care of these needs and many more for as much as 260,000 seniors as well as for their caregivers. They can provide a plethora of day-to-day services and activities tailored to maintain the health, enhance the self-esteem and generally, increase the quality of life for its residents.

Types of Adult Day Care

During your research into adult day care centers in your area, you will most likely come into contact with these three types of facilities:

  • Social
  • Medical
  • Specialized

Social adult day care facilities provide their residents with recreation, meals, and a certain degree of health services. Medical facilities are being staffed by nurses and social workers which generally provide the residents with medication management, health monitoring and disease management, as well as physical therapy and other services. Specialized day care facilities are more focused towards care that includes Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Some adult day care facilities may include a combination of social and medical adult day care programs.

Adult day care

Services Provided

The services that are being provided by the adult day care facilities may vary from one facility to the other, based on their type. Nevertheless, most of them have some of these common types of services:

  • Socialization
  • Recreation
  • Health screening
  • Memory and cognition therapy
  • Medical care
  • Counseling
  • Physical therapy
  • Nutritious meals
  • Respite care
  • Volunteer and community service programs
  • Therapeutic activities
  • Family support groups for caregivers
  • Medication management
  • Door-to-door transportation

Who Offers Adult Day Care?

According to the National Adult Day Services Association, or NADSA, there are over 5,000 adult day care centers all across the U.S., which is an increase of 35% since 2002.

According to a MetLife Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs, about 60% of those are freestanding facilities, 11% are connected to nursing homes, 8% are connected to assisted living facilities and 2% are connected to a hospital.

Some of these assisted living facilities and nursing homes’ adult care is available not only to their residents, but to the members of the community as well. around 75% of the adult day care facilities operate as non-profits while the rest of them are for-profit.

Most of the facilities are open Monday to Friday, while the others are open during the weekends as well.

The regulation for adult day care facilities varies from state to state with some states having no regulations set in place. If you want to find out more information regarding a certain facility in your area, feel free to contact the local Area Agency on Aging, otherwise known as AAA, or your state’s Department of Aging.

When Does One Need Adult Day Care?

As we said earlier, adult day care facilities have filled an important gap in senior care. Since not every senior can afford the costs that are related to assisted living, and not every senior has a need for the level of care which is provided by assisted living facilities, these are some of the reasons seniors and/or caregivers might choose adult day care instead of assisted living facilities:

  • When a senior wants or needs socialization because of isolation
  • When a senior wants or needs recreation with their peers
  • When a senior wants or needs regular exercise
  • If a senior is in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • If a senior needs help with chronic disease management (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc.) and health maintenance
  • When a senior’s caregiver needs a break

Costs and Paying for Adult Day Care

The costs for adult day care may vary greatly from state to state, as well as from region to region. The rates are higher in the Northeast and lower in the South, as expected. According to a 2012 MetLife Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs, the average daily rate for adult care at the time was $70. The state which had a highest average cost was Vermont, with $141 a day, while the state with the lowest average cost of $39 a day was in Alabama. 

Many of these facilities have drop-in rates for seniors which only need care for a day or two, and such facilities in these situations usually charge by the hour.

Most of the seniors using adult day care facilities pay for it out-of-pocket since adult day care is not typically covered by Medicare and Medicaid. If you happen to have the Medicare Advantage Plan, there might be some coverage under Part C of the plan. On another note, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which is a part of Medicare/Medicaid can provide financial support for qualified seniors in some states.

The Veterans Administration may also provide support for veterans under the Adult Day Health Care program.

Some other means of payment may include long-term care insurance, cashing in on your life insurance policies or finding support from a local church.

If you want to find out if there are state-specific programs that provide assistance, contact your local Area Agency on Aging as well as your state’s Aging Department.

Final Thoughts

Adult day care facilities have filled an important gap for lots of seniors and caregivers that cannot financially afford or that are simply not prepare for traditional senior care facilities like nursing homes and assisted living. Feel free to search our website to find an adult day care facility near you that meets your requirements.


We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.

Call: 800-997-1342


Leo G. Anderson

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