Four assisted living residents are playing dominos together in a recreation room where board games are available.

What Is Adult Day Care? Is It Right For My Loved One?


Imagine this: your parent has moved back in with you after realizing that it wasn’t safe or healthy for them to continue living alone. Though you love your parent deeply, it’s difficult to go to work every day and take care of them on top of everything else in your life. It’s clear that your loved one needs more help than you can provide. What are you supposed to do when you can’t give as much care as they need?

Luckily, there are many services that can help your loved one live a happy, full life. Let’s explore one type of care service and see if it could be a match for your loved one.

What are adult day care services?

Adult day care provides older adults with support and a place to go for a portion of the day, typically during business hours. The service only offers temporary respite, as they will still need to return home during the evening. The cost is usually lower than a residential facility since it offers fewer additional services, though your overall cost may be cheaper for round-the-clock care.

Adult day care may include some of these amenities:

  • Opportunities for socialization with games, crafts and exercise
  • Health monitoring from staff
  • Transportation to and from events
  • Meals and snacks

Adult day care is an ideal choice for families who need a little more support to tend to their loved ones without quitting their jobs to become a full time caregiver. For those who are full-time caregivers, adult day care can provide a much needed respite from the stresses of tending to the needs of a loved one. For older adults, adult day care offers a structured environment where they can socialize and make friends, improving their quality of life and overall mood.

What is the difference between assisted living and an adult day care?

Both assisted living and an adult day care accomplish similar goals: caring for older adults when they need support. That being said, there are a few key differences between the two:

  • Residential vs. non-residential. If you think your loved one would thrive better in a place of their own, a residential assisted living facility may be a better choice. This would provide them a place to live, decorate and relax with plenty of privacy. Alternatively, if your loved one would prefer to stay at home most of the time, an adult day care could help to keep them in their home as long as possible.
  • Independence vs. dependence. How much help does your loved one need each day? If they are having trouble completing their ADLs, an assisted living facility could help them day-to-day with these necessary functions. If they only experience mild problems with their ADLs, they can likely continue to live at home and use adult day care as supplemental care.  
  • Full-time vs. part-time. Assisted living helps those who need full-time, around-the-clock care, while adult day care is only offered on weekdays, usually from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult day care may be closed on holidays or due to inclement weather as well. For caregivers, this can be an inconvenience to have to find backup plans if adult day care is closed.
  • Extensive vs partial services. Does your loved one want amenities like housekeeping, on-site nurses, personal hygiene assistance and more? Assisted living facilities typically include more amenities than a part-time adult day care would, however, adult day cares still provide services like meals, socialization and transportation.


Are you unsure what facility would be best for your loved one?

Contact Culpepper Place. We can help you to determine the best place for your loved one to thrive during their golden years.

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