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Adult Day Programs

Adult day programs provide a coordinated program of services for seniors and cognitively impaired adults in a community-based group setting. These types of services are available to adults who need assistance or supervision in a safe environment outside the home during the day. Usually operating during normal business hours five or six days per week, services typically include meals, social or recreational activities, and/or various health-related services such as checking vital signs. Services often follow either a social model that provides socialization and recreational type activities, or a medical model that focuses on skilled assessment, treatment and rehabilitation goals.

Adult day programs are also designed to offer family support. They may conduct caregiver support groups, offer education on topics such as managing difficult or confusing behaviors and safety in the home, as well as provide counseling and help with locating community resources. In addition, adult day programs can provide respite care for caregivers, a vital resource that affords them the opportunity to take a break from caring for loved ones.

While each facility may differ in terms of programs and services offered, the following are those that are generally available:

  • Social activities with other participants, as appropriate
  • Transportation options, to and from home
  • Nutritious meals
  • Personal care, such as help with toileting, grooming, eating, and other personal activities of daily living
  • Physical activities and mental exercises
  • Respite Care

National Information and Resources

National Adult Day Services Association

This website offers information and resources about adult day care centers and programs.

The National Respite Network

This website assists consumers in locating respite care programs in the United States.


The Eldercare Locator is pleased to provide the following fact sheet on adult day care. To view our entire list of publications visit the Resources section of this website.

Adult Day Care