Senior group watching another senior man playing guitar and singing
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Adult Day Services

Adult day services provide daytime care and support to seniors who cannot otherwise be alone. These centers benefit their clients by providing socialization and stimulation, while also giving families and caregivers a break.

Table of Contents

What are Adult Day Services?

Adult day services provide daytime care and support to seniors who cannot otherwise be alone. Centers offer full supervision during a regular routine of activities and programs. These services benefit their clients by providing social engagement and stimulating recreation, while also giving caregivers peace of mind while they are at work, or attending to life’s needs.

Most adult day services only operate on weekdays. They are generally flexible when it comes to frequency, allowing clients to come anywhere between once a week and every day.

Many of these centers are standalone, but some are branches off of a particular assisted living community. Some also offer accessible door-to-door transportation from home to the facility, and back at the end of the day.

What Do Adult Day Care Services Look Like?

Senior woman crafting a felt heart

Adult day services give their clients the mental and social stimulation they may not otherwise get at home. They provide meals and snacks during the day, along with regular routines and activities. These may include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Games
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Holiday and birthday celebrations
  • Live entertainment
  • Local outings

Staff will assist clients with tasks such as medication reminders and toileting as needed, but do not typically provide medical treatment. Some facilities do offer physical, speech, and occupational therapy, often from third-party providers.

Are Adult Day Services the Right Fit?

Consider these statements below to determine if any of them describe your loved one:

  • I’m uncomfortable with my loved one being home alone while I work or run errands
  • My loved one needs help with tasks like meal preparation, medication reminders, or toileting
  • No other friends or family are available to stay with my loved one regularly during long stretches of time
  • I worry that isolation will create a health decline for my loved one

If most or all of the above statements apply to you, then Adult Day Services may be a good option. You could also consider the following solutions:

If you or your loved one are in better health than these statements indicate, the following solutions may be a better fit:

If you or your loved one need more hands-on care, the following options may be a better fit for you:

Still not sure? Take our Care Assessment to see what care level may be best.

What to Consider When Evaluating an Adult Day Care Center

In the market for adult day services? Here are some questions to consider while picking out the right one:

  • Is the staff-to-client ratio low enough for each patient to get enough attention throughout the day?
  • What types of programming do they offer?
  • What kind of assistance is provided if needed? Eating, toileting, dispensing medication, etc.
  • How are special diets accommodated?
  • How often are individual service plans written and updated? Are families involved in this process?
  • Is licensure, certification, or accreditation required? Is this specific center licensed, certified, or accredited?
  • Are their services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or other types of insurance?
  • Do the clients appear engaged and content?

Respite Care Within Adult Day Services

Adult day services can be just the respite care solution that a fatigued caregiver needs. Centers are a good source of care for seniors who still maintain a moderate level of functionality, but still need care at all times. They offer a new setting for their clients to enjoy, in addition to a fresh dose of social interaction. Other benefits include:

  • Meals prepared and served
  • Engaging yet age-appropriate activities such as art and exercise
  • Assistance with tasks such as toileting and medication administration

Centers generally offer a lot of flexibility in the amount of hours or days per week (within business hours) they can serve clients.

Cost of Adult Day Services

Adult day services tend to be a lower cost solution to care. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the National Daily Median cost of Adult Day Care in the United States is $80 a day. However, you can expect to see prices generally range from $45 a day to $120 a day, depending on factors such as location and services provided. Long-Term Care policies can be a good funding source, in addition to private funds. Medicare doesn’t usually cover the costs, but financial assistance may be available through Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, and state agencies.

Heroes do what has to be done, without expecting anything in return.

– Anonymous