See if We Have Top-Rated
Senior Care Providers in Your Area
As loved ones age, families must make important decisions on how to care for them. A lot depends on how well or poorly the senior in your family is doing, both physically and mentally. While nursing homes, in-home care and other care options are available, a valuable but often overlooked service is adult day care.
What is adult day care?
Designed for older adults who aren't able to manage independently or who could benefit from companionship, mental and physical stimulation, and a change of scenery, adult day care programs is a great option. At adult day care, seniors enjoy a planned program of activities, such as arts and crafts, musical entertainment, book and film discussion groups, local outings and games like cards and BINGO, as well as nutritious meals and snacks during daytime hours, typically Monday through Friday. Many adult day care centers will provide transportation services, counseling activities, such as caregiver support groups, and basic health services including screenings for vision and hearing, and blood pressure checks.
Ideal candidates for adult day care programs are those who don't need 24-hour supervision but can't be safely left home alone, are somewhat isolated and would benefit from making new friends and socializing while receiving basic care, and those who have early dementia or Alzheimer's. If you're looking into adult day care for the senior in your life, keep in mind that he or she must be mobile (canes, walkers and wheelchairs are typically ok) and continent.
Adult day care is different than an adult day health care (ADHC) in that the latter provide therapy (speech, occupational or physical) and have RNs and other health professionals on staff. Prior to being admitted into an ADHC program, the senior in your life will likely need to be assessed by a doctor. There are also specific adult day care centers for seniors with Alzheimer's and other dementia issues.
Get help finding senior care providers. Click the link forSenior Care
How to find the right adult day care
There are several resources available to help you find the best adult day care program and facility for your senior, including your doctor, friends and family, and the local senior center. You can also do an online search to find facilities in your area. Once you've got a list of three to five adult day care programs, call or send an email to find out basic information, such as who owns the center, how long it has existed, what licenses and certification it holds, what activities it provides, what the ratio is of staff to seniors, if transportation is provided to and from the facility, and what physical or mental conditions are OK for participation in the program. When you narrow down your choices to one or two centers, ask to visit and spend a morning or an afternoon at the facility to check out the activities, staff, meals and participants. While you're there, note how staff interact with participants, check out the cleanliness of the facility, and see if the seniors in the program seem to be enjoying themselves. Ask the adult day care center management for references and call other families to find out their level of satisfaction with the facility.
Typical adult day care costs
While costs will vary widely, there are some general cost guidelines for adult day care centers. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $70 per day, depending on types of programs available, level of care required and how often your senior attends. If you need a place that provides professional health care services, costs will be higher. Some adult day care centers will work with you to map out a payment program or offer services on a sliding fee scale. In some cases, Medicaid can help supplement the costs for adult day care programs; just ask about financial assistance. Seniors with private medical insurance policies may also cover a portion of the costs.
Adult day care centers are a win-win situation for both caregivers and participants. Caregivers benefit from some free time and peace of mind knowing a loved one is in a safe environment enjoying stimulating and enjoyable activities for the day. And senior participants get to maintain a level of independence, while eating well and socializing with peers.