Understanding Adult Day Care

Understanding Adult Day Care
Care Master | Adult Day Care
6 Min

Understanding Adult Day Care

Adult Day Care centers and programs are non-residential settings that provide safety and security for older adults who need supervision during the day or who would benefit from additional social engagement outside their home. Most Adult Day Care centers will require a license through a governing agency, indicating that the facility meets the state requirements in terms of safety, staffing, and sanitation.

Adult Day Care programs provide their participants with opportunities for social interaction, increased mental stimulation, physical activities and nutritious meals. Adult Day Care Centers also offer family members and caregivers a break from caregiving duties while alleviating the worry about their loved one’s safety.

Adult Day Care services and programs vary, but many will include:

  • Supervision- these centers typically employ highly qualified care staff who are trained in the areas of dementia care and ADL assistance.
  • Activities- including games, arts & crafts and cognitive engagement
  • Meals and snacks
  • Medication management
  • Exercise Programing

What are the benefits of Adult Day Care?

There are many benefits of Adult Day Care to both the participant and family caregiver. Some of these include;

  • Social interaction and companionship, improving mental and physical health
  • Strength and balance improvements, reducing the risk of falls/events 
  • A safe and secure setting for adults with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive impairment
  • Reduced caregiver stress, anxiety and depression
  • The delay or prevention of a move into a long-term care facility

How to know if Adult Day Care is a good option for you

  • Is your loved one unable to structure his or her own daily activities?
  • Do they feel isolated and lonely and/or have expressed a desire for more social interaction?
  • Are they experiencing anxiety or depression?
  • Do you have concerns regarding your loved one being left alone?

Family caregivers also might consider Adult Day services when they need to work or be away from home for most of the day or if they are themselves experiencing caregiver burnout symptoms such as anxiety, frustration, depression or health problems.

How Much Does Adult Day Care Cost?

There are some federal and state reimbursement programs for Adult Day Care, but there will most likely be a private pay component. Costs can range from from $25 to more than $100 per day, depending on services provided.

How to Choose an Adult Day Care

When deciding between centers, consider taking a tour of each one. Observing the overall atmosphere, asking staff questions and seeing how they engage with participants will help to determine if the program is right for your family. Some things to consider during your visit are:

  • What are the program costs? 
  • How long has the center been in business? 
  • What is the staffing ratio?
  • What type of credentials and training do the staff have?
  • Can the program meet your loved one’s specific needs?
  • What are the days and hours of operation?
  • Is transportation provided?
  • How are dietary accommodations handled? Can the facility accommodate medically prescribed diets (diabetic, gluten-free, etc)? 


Adult Day Care can be a wonderful option that supports the physical and mental well-being of an aging loved one while providing safety, security and peace of mind.