What Are Adult Day Care Services?

February 25, 2021 by Katie Davis

What Are Adult Day Care Services - CarePods

Adult Day Care, also called Adult Day Services, is a newer and fast-growing segment of the senior care industry. Adult day services vary per facility and state. But all offer seniors and those requiring monitoring and ongoing care a supervised, non-residential environment during the day. This necessary service can offer primary caregivers some relief while working.

The Basics

Adult day care services are typically open during normal working hours. Most clients have physical limitations or limited functioning and require support and care during the day. Many clients are older adults and about 30% have memory-related issues such as dementia. But, younger adults with physical limitations also use this service.

As a rule, adult day care services typically provide general supervision, opportunities for socialization and recreation, and meals. Some may offer varying levels of medical services. It’s important to contact each center directly to learn exactly how much hands-on care they can provide your loved one.

In North Carolina, the state distinguishes between programs that offer non-medical oversight and those that offer medical oversight by licensure. Programs that do not provide medical care are licensed as adult day care services. Programs that do offer some medical care receive adult day health service licenses.

This is the full definition according to the state guidelines:

“Day Care Services for Adults is the provision of an organized program of services during the day in a community group setting for the purpose of supporting adults’ personal independence, and promoting their social, physical, and emotional well-being. Services must include a variety of program activities designed to meet the individual needs and interests of the participants, a nutritious meal and snacks as appropriate to the program, and referral to and assistance in using appropriate community resources. Medical examinations are required for individual participants for admission to a program and periodically thereafter. Services must be provided in a home or center certified to meet state standards for such programs. 

The health care component of adult day health services distinguishes it from adult day care, which also provides a structured program of activities and services during the day for aging, disabled and handicapped adults. As part of the structured day program of activities and services, participants enrolled in adult day health also require daily nursing supervision. Participation in adult day health can enable such persons to achieve and maintain their optimum level of independence and can support family members and other caregivers who are providing full-time care to frail adults living at home.”

What Care is Provided?

In adult day care, facilities that offer non-medical oversight provide basic supervision, recreational activities and meals for your loved one. Adult health care services also provide this level of service. In addition, their licensure allows them to help your loved one with activities of daily living (adl’s) and medication administration.

In addition, they can help you monitor your loved one’s medical condition as well as administer medications. Some adult day health centers may also offer specialized services such as speech therapy, physical therapy and counseling. North Carolina allows the program staff to perform these services if qualified. Or, they can contract with service providers in the greater community.

The Cost of Adult Day Care Services

One of the major benefits of using adult day care services is that they cost less than assisted living or senior care communities.  According to the 2015 Genworth Financial cost of care survey, the average cost of adult day care in North Carolina is $1,105 per month.

This number has likely increased over the years and typically represents a base fee. Clients may encounter additional fees for medication administration or help with grooming, feeding or dressing.

Still, adult day care and adult day health centers offer an affordable alternative for families whose loved ones need daily oversight but who can’t afford assisted living or traditional senior care.

Interested in learning more about affordable senior care solutions? Contact us today! We’re happy to provide you with a free evaluation based on you or your loved one’s needs.


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