Last Updated: January 19, 2015
Adult day centers are an important care option that keep
families together and can improve the quality of life to both
caregivers and their loved ones. When an elderly
loved one needs additional care or supervision during the day,
many families think that they have no choice but to quit their
jobs. Others find that their health deteriorates as the stress of
round-the clock caregiving prevents them from caring for
themselves. Or, families may think that placement in a facility is
their only option.
Adult day services are comprehensive programs specially tailored
to adults who need supervision and assistance during the day. Adult
day services centers provide social activities and health care
services for adults with physical disabilities and/or cognitive
impairments, seniors who are frail or may be lonely and need to be
with people and participate in activities instead of sitting at
home alone. People who attend an adult day care center usually live
in their own home or in the home of a family caregiver. Adult day
services can improve the quality of life for those who attend and
help each person function at their best.
Costs of Adult Day Care
Approximately 30% of adult day services participants pay
privately for the services. Average daily fees range from $40 to
$60 and include a wide range of services such as a personal care,
therapeutic activities, nursing care, and meals including a light
breakfast, hot lunch, and an afternoon snack.
Many day centers offer additional services including:
- Art therapy
- Exercise classes
- Hair and beauty services
- Massage therapy
- Occupational therapy
Adult day service centers are also designed to offer family
support. They conduct caregiver support groups, offer education on
topics such as managing difficult or confusing behaviors and safety
in the home, provide counseling, and maintain contacts with
Seniors attending adult day service centers are eligible for
funding from a number of sources including Medicaid-waiver
programs, Veteran's programs. Guidelines for receiving these funds
are different in every state.
Are Adult Day Services Right For You?
If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, Adult day
services may benefit both you and your loved one.
- Do you worry about your loved one's safety at home while they
- Do you worry that your loved one is unhappy or bored sitting at
home all day?
- Do you worry about the ongoing health of your loved one? Do
they need assistance during the day to remember to properly take
their medications or to eat healthy meals?
- Do you want help to be able to keep your loved one at home as
long as possible?
- Does your loved one seem depressed?
- Does your loved one have no one to talk to?
Here's what some caregivers and participants have to say about
their experience with adult day services.
"When my dad moved in with us due to his inability to live
alone, I thought I was going to have to quit my job and stay home
to care for him. But adult day has provided a safe, stimulating,
and homelike environment. I continue to work and don't worry about
my dad during those hours, thanks to adult day services. And the
added benefit is that he has made new friends and loves
"Coming to adult day has changed me so much. Before I was in a
shell, but now I talk to everybody. My kids say the best thing I
could have done is to come to the adult day center."
Betty H., Age 74
"I felt completely at ease leaving my husband in their care. He
looked forward to Monday mornings and was anxious to get back after