Adult Day Care

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Adult Day Care or 'Adult Day Services' is a professional care setting in which older adults, adults living with dementia, or adults living with disabilities receive individualized therapeutic, social, and health services for some part of the day.

Adult day service centers provide a coordinated program of professional and compassionate services for adults in a community-based group setting. Services are designed to provide social and some health services to adults who need supervised care in a safe place outside the home during the day. They also afford caregivers respite from the demanding responsibilities of caregiving. Adult day centers generally operate during normal business hours five days a week. Some programs offer services in the evenings and on weekends. Although each facility may differ in terms of features, these general services are offered by most adult day centers:

Social activities—interaction with other participants in planned activities appropriate for their conditions

Transportation—door-to-door service

Meals and snacks—participants are provided with meals and snacks, those with special dietary needs are offered special meals

Personal care—help with toileting, grooming, eating and other personal activities of daily living

Therapeutic activities—exercise and mental interaction for all participants.

In general, there are three types of adult day centers:

  • social (which provides meals, recreation and some health-related services)
  • medical/health (which provides social activities as well as more intensive health and therapeutic services) and
  • specialized (which provide services only to specific care recipients, such as those with diagnosed dementias or developmental disabilities.

Caregivers typically select the type of center a care recipient attends based on the care needed.

Adult Day Services Are a Growing Source of Long-Term Care

  • There are more than 4,600 adult day services centers across the U.S. — a 35% increase since 2002.
  • More than 260,000 participants and family caregivers are serviced — an increase of over 100,000, or 63%, since 2002.

Adult Day Care


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