Are you among the 34 million Americans who provide unpaid care for an adult aged 50 or older? It’s a tough task that is tempered by love and loyalty, but regardless of how devoted you are to the aging loved one in your charge, you can’t do it all by yourself.

For many families, this is where adult day care comes in. It’s a service that can keep your loved one busy and engaged, allowing you to keep working or to take a periodic break from caregiving. Elder day care can be a godsend if you can’t afford full-time in-home care and your loved one:   

  • Is frail or has dementia or other medical conditions
  • Can no longer structure their own daily activities
  • Finds it difficult to initiate activities like reading, conversation or watching television
  • Is isolated and lonely or desires peer interaction
  • Is anxious or depressed and needs social and emotional support

What Services and Amenities Are Provided in an Adult Day Care?

Although the exact offerings of each adult day program vary, most offer a nutritious midday meal, which your loved one can enjoy while socializing with other seniors. As well, these centers typically provide a range of engaging events and activities that range from fashion shows and birthday celebrations to trivia games, painting or group conversations.

Some programs provide music or movies as well as outings to libraries, museums, parks, or other local attractions. As well, most deliver fitness and movement activities tailored to participants’ abilities. Some programs may incorporate exercise like dancing while others may focus more on stretching and chair exercises.

In addition, some adult day centers offer limited medical and alternative healthcare, such as:

  • Music or art therapy
  • Support groups or counseling
  • Nursing care
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapies
  • Dental care
  • Vision and hearing care
  • Foot care

On top of this, chances are good that you won’t have to worry about transportation as many centers operate or coordinate with a van or bus service that will pick up participants and return them home after the day’s activities.

What Are the Benefits of Adult Day Care Programs?

Still not convinced that adult day care is for you and your loved one? Here’s a quick look at some of the benefits.

Respite From Caregiving

“Oftentimes, caring for a sick family member with a disease like pancreatic cancer can lead to caregiver burnout,” says Nicole Feingold, director of patient services at PanCAN, a nonprofit serving pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones.

Adult day services can help relieve some of the stress, anxiety or exhaustion associated with caregiving. Not only will you get a break from looking after your parent, but you will have predictable hours when you can work, attend to personal needs or run errands. Additionally, if your loved one enjoys day care they may feel happier overall, making it easier for you to provide care when they are home.

Remedy for Boredom

As for as your loved one goes, one of the chief benefits of adult day care is that it will allow them to participate in stimulating activities and stretch their wings. “I was surprised when I found my mom dancing in her care program,” says Kay Bransford, a money manager who works with older adults who need help with their home and finances. “She would refuse to do it when my dad asked, so I would have never thought to suggest it. The brain likes change, and outside programs offer options family and loved ones would not consider.”

An Antidote to Loneliness

A second reason that day care might bring a smile to your loved one’s face is the opportunity to interact with others. Seniors who seldom see anyone outside of their own family often feel loneliness, a condition  associated with depression. In addition, studies show that social isolation is linked to dementia, decreased resistance to infection, increased emergency admission and high mortality risk.

Cure for Aimlessness

Retirement can be a curse for elderly adults who no longer have a concrete reason to leave the house. As days bleed together and the weeks march on, it’s easy to fall into a rut, staying up until the wee hours and sleeping in past noon, which may lead to everything from poor nutrition to depression to increased risk of dementia. Daily or even weekly trips to adult day care can anchor a new routine, giving your loved one a reason to get up, get dressed and get moving.

Additional Access to Crucial Services

Thanks to Medicare, most elderly Americans receive some level of health care once they reach 65, but availability doesn’t always mean it’s easy for them to follow up on health care, especially if they have mobility issues or multiple medical issues. In cases like this, an adult day program that offers health care services can make it easier for seniors to take care a plethora of health issues.

How Can Adult Day Care Benefit Those with Dementia?

An adult day care program, especially one tailored to people with dementia, can make a world of difference to someone who is cognitively impaired. These tailored services are typically available to people with dementia who:

  • Live in their own homes or with a caregiver
  • Don’t require constant one-on-one assistance
  • Have some mobility (most programs allow a self-propelled wheelchair)
  • Are continent (sometimes just bowel, sometimes bowel and bladder)
  • Are not physically or verbally abusive
  • Do not wander excessively

Adult day care is especially useful when people are in the early stage of Alzheimer’s and still have good social skills.  (Some evidence shows that early stimulation of the type provided by adult day centers can slow cognitive decline.) Day care can also help if your loved has moderate Alzheimer’s disease, when the strain of caregiving becomes greater and burnout is a strong risk.

If you are hesitant about enrolling your loved on in a dementia day programs, consider registering them for a few sessions to see how it goes. Start small, with just a few hours per day or week, rather than diving into full-time day care. If the transition proves difficult, talk to your loved one about their concerns. You and/or the director may be able to overcome specific objections. If the problems don’t resolve after several weeks, look for a different program or check out an in-home care or companion service.

Note: Although staff in dementia day care programs may have special education and/or training in working with people with, keep in mind that there’s no special licensing required for dementia day care.

How Much Does Adult Day Care Cost and How Can I Pay?

One of the best features of adult day care is its low price tag–the national median cost is $1,560 per month–compared to other care alternatives. (Note that adult day care fees may vary considerably depending on geographic region, the organization who operates the center and its services.) Know that many programs have a sliding fee scale for lower-income families and, in some cases, you can pay hourly for less than a full day of care.

In some communities, churches run free adult drop-in programs that don’t qualify as certified adult day care centers but can serve the same purpose (though without the same level of services)–to provide a safe environment for an adult who needs care for several hours a day, giving primary caregivers a respite. Get in touch with the church your loved one attends (or used to attend) or the one you go to, to check their offerings for older adults.

If cost is still a concern, explore whether your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy that includes home care benefits which could be spent on adult day care. In addition, check out whether your loved one qualifies for any of the below programs.

Veterans’ Benefits

If your loved one is a veteran who qualifies for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical benefits and needs long-term care, they may be entitled to free services at VA-run adult day care centers. (Low-income vets or surviving spouses of veterans may qualify for some other monthly cash benefits, which can be used for any type of care, including adult day care.)

Medicaid and PACE

The Medicaid program in your state might pay for some adult day services if your loved one has a very low income and few assets, other than the home they live in. In some states, Medicaid partners with Medicare to sponsor the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

This program provides comprehensive in-home and community care, including adult day care, for frail elders who would otherwise require nursing home care. It may be available only to those people with low income and few assets, usually those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Tip: For help with questions about Medicaid or a PACE program’s coverage of adult day care, contact your local Area Agency on Aging. You can also get free, expert counseling at a local office of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).

Medicare

If your loved one is enrolled in a Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan rather than in a traditional Medicare Part A and Part B, it might offer limited adult day care coverage as part of its home care services. The extent of adult day care coverage depends entirely on the plan itself. To learn whether your loved one’s plan covers adult day care and, if so, under what terms, contact the plan directly.

Note that neither Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B covers adult day care services. Part B does, however, cover mental health treatment prescribed by a physician and provided at an outpatient mental health clinic. If the clinic is also an adult day care center, patients can partake in those services while receiving mental health treatment, though they may have to pay an additional copayment.

Important: In order for any type of Medicare plan to provide coverage, the care must meet two basic requirements: The care must be “medically necessary”—in other words, it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider—and  Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) must agree that the care is necessary and proper. As well, the care must be performed or delivered by a healthcare provider who participates in Medicare.

How Does Adult Day Care Compare to Other Senior Care Options?

Before enrolling your loved in adult day care, it’s prudent to first look at other care options, like the following:

Adult Day Care vs. In-Home Care

With in-home care (or homecare), a personal care assistant comes to the home to help with activities of daily living, such as eating, grooming, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation and medication reminders. (For those who require a higher level of care as deemed necessary by a doctor, home healthcare  nurses, physical therapists or trained health aides can provide skilled medical care in the home.)

As with adult day care, homecare will allow your loved one to remain at home, although costs can add up if they require a lot of care–caregivers can be hired for a few hours per week or 24/7, or anything in between. Another disadvantage: Unlike adult daycare centers, in-home care does not provide programmed group activities.

Adult Day Care vs. Assisted Living

Assisted living is a residential senior care option designed for elders who need some supervision and help with the activities of daily living such as meal preparation, housekeeping and bathing. In this arrangement, seniors usually live in a private or semi-private suite within a complex. The price usually includes three meals per day, which are eaten in a communal dining area; common spaces for socializing; organized recreational and cultural activities and transportation services.

Many communities also feature on-site amenities like gyms, swimming pools, beauty salons, pharmacies and computers as well. Like some adult day care programs, many assisted living communities offer specialized dementia care, often referred to as memory care.

For many, the chief benefit of assisted living is the social aspect. In such a setting, your loved one would live, eat and play in a community, meaning they would have ample opportunity to socialize with others. As well, assisted living communities sometimes provide social events or activities on evenings or weekends, in contrast to adult day programs, which usually run Monday to Friday in the daytime.

Assisted living also gives caretakers more of a break than adult day care, as staff can provide round-the-clock with help with the daily activities of living. On the minus side, assisted living comes with a much higher price tag than adult day care. Your loved one might also resist senior living as it will mean moving to an unfamiliar environment and, in some cases, giving up a much-loved house.

Adult Day Care vs. Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled nursing care in a nursing home is the most expensive of all options and the one that offers the most medical support. Although it is few people’s first choice, a nursing home may be the most viable option for someone in the final stage of a disease or a person has significant physical/cognitive limitations. If the idea of providing  24/7 care is overwhelming, a nursing home may be what your loved one really needs.

Comparing Adult Day Care Costs and Other Types of Senior Care

When it comes to cost, adult day care is far cheaper than other care alternatives. According to the Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care survey, the monthly national median cost for the various options is as follows:

Type of Senior CareAverage Monthly Cost
Skilled Nursing Facility$7,441 to $8,365
Assisted Living$4,000
In-home Care$4,004 to $4,195
Adult Day Care$1,560

How Do I Find an Adult Day Care Program?

Although the 4,600 adult day programs in the U.S. may be part of stand-alone adult centers specifically set up to provide day care to seniors, 70 percent are affiliated with or operate within senior centers, churches, medical centers or residential care facilities. Programs run from several hours to a full day. Participants may attend daily, a few times a week, weekly, or just for special activities. Weekend and evening care are less common, although this is changing as demand for adult day care rises.

You can start your search for adult day services by entering your city or zip code in Caring.com’s Senior Living Directory — don’t forget to look at  ratings and reviews! To find the best fit for your loved one, contact and tour the providers in your area that interest you, taking along a copy of National Adult Day Services Association NADSA’s site checklist.

119 Assisted Living Facilities near Minneapolis, MN

2019

The Legacy of St. Anthony

2540 Kenzie Terrace, Minneapolis, MN, 55418

The Legacy of St. Anthony is located in the Northeast section of Minneapolis, MN. There are several golf courses, fine dining restaurants, a theater and shopping areas nearby. Visitors and residents g … (read more)
The Legacy of St. Anthony is located in the Northeast section of Minneapolis, MN. There are several golf courses, fine dining restaurants, a theater and shopping areas nearby. Visitors and residents g … (read more)

The Kenwood

825 Summit Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, 55403

Located southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, just off I-94 for easy access to downtown, The Kenwood provides independent and assisted living and short-term care to seniors. This facility is close to T … (read more)
Located southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, just off I-94 for easy access to downtown, The Kenwood provides independent and assisted living and short-term care to seniors. This facility is close to T … (read more)

Adagio Manor Assisted Living

5230 Circle Down, Minneapolis, MN, 55416

Located due west of Minneapolis, Adagio Manor offers seniors assisted living, memory care and respite care in a quiet residential neighborhood. Its proximity to Highway 100 and I-394 makes it simple t … (read more)
Located due west of Minneapolis, Adagio Manor offers seniors assisted living, memory care and respite care in a quiet residential neighborhood. Its proximity to Highway 100 and I-394 makes it simple t … (read more)

Select Senior Living

11350 Martin Street Northwest, Minneapolis, MN, 55433

Select Senior Living at Coon Rapids offers assisted living and memory care due north of Minneapolis, and proximity to Highway 10 makes it easy to get to the city. Nearby Rockslide Park and Peppermint … (read more)
Select Senior Living at Coon Rapids offers assisted living and memory care due north of Minneapolis, and proximity to Highway 10 makes it easy to get to the city. Nearby Rockslide Park and Peppermint … (read more)

Roitenberg Family Assisted Living Residence

3610 Phillips Parkway South, Minneapolis, MN, 55426

Roitenberg Family Assisted Living Residence is a community that offers residents a lifestyle that can be hard to get at any other facility. All the meals served at the facility are Kosher and the laun … (read more)
Roitenberg Family Assisted Living Residence is a community that offers residents a lifestyle that can be hard to get at any other facility. All the meals served at the facility are Kosher and the laun … (read more)

Chandler Place

3701 Chandler Drive, Minneapolis, MN, 55421

Chandler Place was very nice, beautiful, and they have painted windows. When you’re walking down the hall, it’s like you’re looking through a little village or town. However, I was afraid my hus … (read more)
Chandler Place was very nice, beautiful, and they have painted windows. When you’re walking down the hall, it’s like you’re looking through a little village or town. However, I was afraid my hus … (read more)

Gianna Homes – Gladys’ Place

10210 28th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN, 55441

Located southwest of Minneapolis, Gianna Homes in Minnetonka offers memory care in its facility alongside in-home care options. It sits just off Highway 7 for an easy connection to I-494, simplifying … (read more)
Located southwest of Minneapolis, Gianna Homes in Minnetonka offers memory care in its facility alongside in-home care options. It sits just off Highway 7 for an easy connection to I-494, simplifying … (read more)

Millers Landing Senior Living

155 5th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN, 55401


Signe Burckhardt Manor

2533 FIRST AVENUE SOUTH, Minneapolis, MN, 55404

Signe Burckhardt Manor is nestled in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota, near major hospitals, medical clinics, shopping and restaurants. This facility provides assisted living services to seniors an … (read more)
Signe Burckhardt Manor is nestled in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota, near major hospitals, medical clinics, shopping and restaurants. This facility provides assisted living services to seniors an … (read more)

Bryant Square Apartments

3115 Aldrich Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55408

Conveniently nestled near several popular parks and cozy urban areas, Bryant Square Apartments is an excellent assisted living community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Residents compliment the supportive, … (read more)
Conveniently nestled near several popular parks and cozy urban areas, Bryant Square Apartments is an excellent assisted living community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Residents compliment the supportive, … (read more)

Minnesota Veterans Home

5101 Minnehaha Av. S, Minneapolis, MN, 55417

The Minnesota Veterans Home is a retirement community located in Minneapolis, Minnesota that is dedicated to giving veterans the care and attention they need. The residents like that they are able to … (read more)
The Minnesota Veterans Home is a retirement community located in Minneapolis, Minnesota that is dedicated to giving veterans the care and attention they need. The residents like that they are able to … (read more)

Augustana Apartments

1510 11Th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55404

Augustana Apartments is a centrally located assisted living community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Residents boast about the cheerful, accommodating staff and the high level of cleanliness throughout th … (read more)
Augustana Apartments is a centrally located assisted living community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Residents boast about the cheerful, accommodating staff and the high level of cleanliness throughout th … (read more)

Walker Methodist Health Center

3737 BRYANT AVENUE SOUTH, Minneapolis, MN, 55409

Room was dirty, dingy. Furniture was old and used. We reported dirt on serving tray for 5 weeks. Never cleaned. They never vacuumed under the bed entire stay. Staff needs more training on equip … (read more)
Room was dirty, dingy. Furniture was old and used. We reported dirt on serving tray for 5 weeks. Never cleaned. They never vacuumed under the bed entire stay. Staff needs more training on equip … (read more)

HEALTH CENTER

3737 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, 55409

I really liked Walker Methodist. The location was great because it was right in the heart of Minneapolis. It had recently been redone and was beautiful. It was very comfortable, but the bathroom was s … (read more)
I really liked Walker Methodist. The location was great because it was right in the heart of Minneapolis. It had recently been redone and was beautiful. It was very comfortable, but the bathroom was s … (read more)

St Anthony Health Center

3700 Foss Road, Minneapolis, MN, 55421


Jones Harrison Res Asst Lvg

3700 CEDAR LAKE AVENUE, Minneapolis, MN, 55416

I visited Jones Harrison for my mom for assisted living. It’s in an attractive setting that feels elegant and welcoming. The rooms are very attractive, and the people who lived there are active, fri … (read more)
I visited Jones Harrison for my mom for assisted living. It’s in an attractive setting that feels elegant and welcoming. The rooms are very attractive, and the people who lived there are active, fri … (read more)

Saint Theresa of New Hope

8000 – 8008 Bass Lake Rd., Minneapolis, MN, 55428

We toured Saint Therese of New Hope and it seemed fine. We saw different apartments, and toured the different places. They were having an ice cream social the day I visited and they were singing. We s … (read more)
We toured Saint Therese of New Hope and it seemed fine. We saw different apartments, and toured the different places. They were having an ice cream social the day I visited and they were singing. We s … (read more)

Kingsley Commons

4550 HUMBOLDT AVENUE NORTH, Minneapolis, MN, 55412

Great facility except for garage. Low lighting and no paint or markings on pillars to increase visibility. Could remedy easily w/ 3M reflective tape. Thanks!
Great facility except for garage. Low lighting and no paint or markings on pillars to increase visibility. Could remedy easily w/ 3M reflective tape. Thanks!

Angels of Mercy

6018 Halifax Pl, Minneapolis, MN, 55429

We visited the Angels of Mercy assisted living facility while in the Minneapolis area looking for a place for our aunt to live. Our aunt has many friends and family in the area so would like to stay i … (read more)
We visited the Angels of Mercy assisted living facility while in the Minneapolis area looking for a place for our aunt to live. Our aunt has many friends and family in the area so would like to stay i … (read more)

Supportive Living Solutions

2405 1st Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN, 55404

Whittier Place is conveniently in the city of Minneapolis – easy to get to with transit available. This is important to us since some of my aunt’s family doesn’t drive. We also liked that it is nera A … (read more)
Whittier Place is conveniently in the city of Minneapolis – easy to get to with transit available. This is important to us since some of my aunt’s family doesn’t drive. We also liked that it is nera A … (read more)