Adult Day Care Center

Caregivers may feel reluctant to use adult day care services because they seem unfamiliar, or because a loved one is hesitant to try something new. Participants benefit from socializing with others and receiving needed care services. Caregivers benefit by getting a break from caregiving duties while knowing that a loved one is in good hands.

What is an adult day care center?

Adult day care is a planned program of activities designed to promote well-being though social and health related services. Adult day care centers operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, in a safe, supportive, cheerful environment. Nutritious meals that accommodate special diets are typically included, along with an afternoon snack.

Adult day care centers can be public or private, non-profit or for-profit. The intent of an adult day center is primarily two-fold:

  • to provide older adults an opportunity to get out of the house and receive both mental and social stimulation

  • to give caregivers a much-needed break in which to attend to personal needs, or simply rest and relax

There are currently approximately 4,000 adult day care centers nationwide, according to the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA). The proliferation of centers over the past two decades corresponds to the "mushrooming demand for home and community based services" to meet the needs of a rapidly escalating elder population.

Good candidates for adult day care are seniors who:

  • can benefit from the friendship and functional assistance a day care center offers,

  • may be physically or cognitively challenged but do not require 24-hour supervision,

  • are in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Adult day dare center participants need to be mobile, with the possible assistance of a cane, walker or wheelchair, and in most cases, they must also be continent.