What is adult daycare like?

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 01, 2011

What is Adult Daycare?

Adult daycare is a relatively new phenomenon, created to meet the ever-increasing need of an older society as well as caregivers who may work outside the home, generating a need for something similar to daycare for children. Adult daycare centers typically operate during the daytime hours Monday through Friday, and offer a safe and supportive environment for the elderly who may not be able to stay in their home alone.

Adult daycare centers may either be public, private, non-profit or for-profit, however the overall intent is the same—to provide older adults the opportunity to get out of their homes and receive critical social and mental stimulation. Adult daycare centers generally offer planned activities as well as meals and snacks throughout the day.

Benefits of Adult Daycare

Whether your primary caregiver works full-time or simply needs a respite from caregiving demands—or you need a little break from your caregiver—adult daycare can offer the ideal solution.  It can be lonely to stay in your home alone day after day with little to do and no one to interact with. Additionally, the necessity of constantly preparing your own meals—and eating them alone-- can be downright depressing.

Adult daycare usually offers lots of opportunities for you to socialize with peers, enjoyable activities to keep you mentally engaged, and can even increase your level of independence as time goes by.   Of course, as a senior it can be challenging to admit you need a certain level of help or socialization, especially if you’ve always been extremely independent. You may be wary of meeting a lot of strangers, but try to remember that they are only strangers until you meet them!

Activities at Adult Daycare

Before choosing an adult daycare, find out what activities you will be able to take part in. Most adult daycare centers will offer a variety of crafting activities, such as scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, painting and needlework. Cooking classes are always interesting and fun, as are gardening classes which will cater to your particular geographical area. Exercise classes are generally offered, ranging from basic workouts for the previous non-exerciser, to the more extensive classes, and may include senior yoga or one of the newer exercise classes such as Zumba.

Games, including board games, card games and even ping-pong in some adult daycare facilities, are generally part of the program, as are field trips, parties and pet and music therapy. Depending on your personal interests, you should be able to find an adult daycare facility which offers a variety of activities you would be interested in.

Types of Adult Daycare

There are currently more than 4,000 adult daycare centers in the United States, and most of them operate during normal business hours, five days per week, although some have extended hours during evenings and weekends. There are the senior care centers which focus on social interaction (the most common) as well as those which provide medical care, and those dedicated strictly to Alzheimer’s patients. Regulation for adult daycare centers is at the discretion of the individual states, although there are some overall standards and guidelines through the National Adult Day Services Association.

Costs of Adult Daycare

The average cost for adult daycare is around $64 per day, depending both on where you live as well as what specific activities and services are provided. If professional health care is included, then you will likely pay a higher fee, although some centers offer a sliding fee scale, meaning your cost will be based on your income and ability to pay.

Adult Daycare Services

In addition to adult daycare activities, most daycares will offer assistance with medication, counseling, health monitoring services, preparation of meals and snacks, therapy, transportation, and even such services as podiatry care. All in all, adult daycare can be a great addition to your senior living, allowing you to get out of the house, meet people and engage in interesting activities.



  • My father had to move out of the retirement community he was living in. I didn’t know what to do. I found a new one in the same city with an opening the very same day on SeniorInsider.com. Thanks!

    Doug J


  • I was in need of resources for caregivers and stumbled on your site. You answered a lot of the questions I had about taking care of my aging mother. What a wealth of knowledge, all in one place.

    Lisa Z


  • I saved so much time thanks to your valuable resources on this site. We need more resources like yours on the Internet. I'll be sure to refer anyone who is looking for senior related information to you.

    Jeana M


  • I was having a tough time understanding all the legal issues (probate, trusts, living wills, etc.) until I found SeniorInsider.com. You put everything into terms that I can easily understand.

    John R


Connect With Us

If you’d like to receive FREE information on a range of topics of interest to seniors, fill out the form below:

Please send me:

Free Senior’s Guide

Receive a Free Senior Living Insders Guide!

Free Senior’s Guide
Free Newsletter

Receive periodic news relating to active senior living!

Free Newsletter
Money Saving Deals

Get money saving deals and Special Offers for Seniors!

Money Saving Deals