Adult day service: What you need to know

If you're caring for a loved one, an adult day service might be good for both of you. Find out why.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you're a caregiver, you might be curious about adult day services — programs that provide care and companionship for older adults who need assistance or supervision during the day. Here's some information to help you understand this resource for caregivers and how an adult day service might benefit you and your loved one.

What are the different kinds of adult day services?

Adult day services, also called adult care, are typically open during normal work hours. Unlike senior centers — which are usually sponsored by recreational departments and targeted at healthy older adults — adult day services are a resource for people with physical limitations or limited functioning due to memory loss.

Adult day services typically provide:

  • Supervision
  • Recreation and social activities
  • Meals
  • Varying levels of medical services, from none to extensive

Some adult day services offer evening and weekend hours, and transportation.

What are the benefits of adult day services?

An adult day service might delay or prevent your loved one from needing to move to a long-term residential care facility. The service's programs can encourage your loved one to spend time with others, and supervised activities might improve daily living skills. Even if your loved one has dementia, he or she might be able to enjoy music, simple activities and being surrounded by friends.

Beyond providing social opportunities, an adult day service can serve as a safe and familiar place for your loved one to receive health services.

An adult day service can also give you and others who care for your loved one a much needed break, possibly enabling you to care for your loved one at home for longer. You might use a service to provide care for your loved one so that you can go to work, take care of personal business or simply relax.

Feb. 08, 2018 See more In-depth