Adult Day Programs


Adult Day Programs are often hosted by Assisted Living Communities, Nursing Homes, Senior Centers, and other senior care related organizations. The programs offer supervised activities and social interaction for attendees, and some offer assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Most programs are open Monday through Friday during business hours, although some have extended evening hours. Many offer transportation within a certain distance. The types of programs can be generalized as following:

Social: Provides meals, recreation, and some health-related services (like medication reminders).

Medical: Provides social activities as well as more intensive health and therapeutic services.

Specialty: Provides specialized services for particular needs, such as those with diagnosed dementias or developmental disabilities.

Best Suited For 

An Adult Day  Program is a great option for seniors living at home, either with family or independently, who could benefit from the structured socialization outside of the home, or for those who are unsafe alone at home while family caregivers are at work. Commonly these are seniors who need assistance or cueing with ADLs, but are healthy enough to commute to and from the program with transportation support.


An Adult Day Program may cost $10-15 dollars per hour, or  $300-$500 per week for a five-day schedule. Subsidized programs are often less, and some programs offer scholarships. While Medicare does not cover the cost, for some it may be partially covered by Medicaid or Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefits. It can be a more affordable solution than moving a senior into an Assisted Living Community, and it has the added benefit of keeping a loved one in his/her own home or with family.


  • Social activity during the day, respite for caregivers, one or two nutritious meals daily.


  • Some programs have low attendance, may not provide transportation, and/or do not address the need for respite care during off-hours.

Insider Tips: What to Look For                                                                    

Depending on your location, you may only have one or two options for Adult Day Programs in your area. To determine whether your loved one is a good fit for a given program, determine what kind of personal support she needs.  Make a list of the challenges your loved one has - for instance, difficulties with medication management, mobility, toileting, eating, socializing, communicating, etc. Then be sure to ask the program representative about how they manage or support each one of these challenges. Inquire about transportation. If they do not provide transportation to your area, ask if they can refer you to a reliable, senior-friendly transportation service.  Visit the program to be sure it is a good fit. 

The National Adult Day Services Association offers a great deal of information in order to help you find and choose an Adult Day Center for your loved one, including a step-by-step guide to choosing a center. Visit their website at