Aug 22, 2023

How much does adult day care cost?

Manny Cominsky

As our loved ones age, it becomes increasingly important to ensure they receive the care and support they need. For many families, adult day care provides a valuable solution. Adult day care centers offer a supervised environment where older adults can socialize and engage in various activities during the day while their primary caregivers can go to work or take a break from their caregiving responsibilities. However, one of the common concerns when considering adult day care is the cost. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to afford and pay for adult day care, providing you with practical insights and options to make this valuable service accessible to your senior loved one.

Understanding the Cost of Adult Day Care

Before exploring the different ways to afford adult day care, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the costs involved. The average cost of adult day care can vary depending on several factors, including location, services offered, and the specific needs of the senior. That being said, on average, you can expect to pay around $25 to $100 per day for adult day care services. It's important to note that this cost can be lower or higher depending on the type of adult day care service you choose.

Adult day care centers typically offer different types of services, ranging from social activities and meals to medical care and transportation. The cost of adult day care may be influenced by the level of staff-to-patient ratio, with centers that provide specialized care for conditions like dementia or Alzheimer's disease often having a lower staff-to-patient ratio. Additionally, whether the adult day care center is public or private, non-profit or for-profit can also impact the cost.

Ways to Afford Adult Day Care

While the cost of adult day care may seem daunting, there are various ways to make it more affordable and accessible for your senior loved one, including:


Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to individuals with limited income and resources. In many states, Medicaid covers adult day care services, making it an excellent option for those who qualify. Eligibility criteria for Medicaid vary by state, but typically include income and asset limits. Medicaid waivers, also known as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers, are available in some states and can be used to cover adult day care costs. It's important to check with your state's Medicaid program to determine eligibility and available benefits.

Veterans Benefits

If your loved one is a veteran or a spouse of a veteran, they may be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers various programs that can help cover the cost of adult day care. For example, the VHA Medical Benefits Package includes adult day health care services, but eligibility for this program requires a clinical assessment to determine the level of care needed. Additionally, veterans' pensions, such as Aid & Attendance, can be used to provide care for ailing or disabled veterans, including adult day care services. Veterans Directed Care programs also offer flexibility in using allocated funds for adult day care services. It's important to explore the available VA benefits and consult with a VA representative to determine eligibility and coverage options.

Long-Term Care Insurance

If your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy, it's worth checking if adult day care services are covered. While these policies typically cover services like nursing home or assisted living care, some policies may also include coverage for adult day care. Review the policy details and contact the insurance provider to understand the coverage and any limitations or requirements.

State and Local Programs

Many states and localities offer financial assistance programs specifically designed to support adult day care services. These programs may provide subsidies, grants, or sliding fee scales based on income and need. Research and reach out to your state's department of aging or other relevant agencies to inquire about available programs and eligibility requirements.

Private Payment Options

If other sources of funding are not available, private payment options can still make adult day care affordable. Some older adults may have retirement funds, savings, or other financial resources that can be used to pay for adult day care services. Additionally, exploring options like reverse home mortgages or cashing out on a life insurance policy can provide the necessary funds. It's important to discuss these options with a trusted financial advisor or family members to determine the best approach for your loved one's unique situation.

Sliding Scale and Financial Assistance

Certain adult day care centers, particularly non-profit organizations, offer sliding scale fees or financial assistance based on income. These centers understand the importance of providing affordable care and may have programs in place to accommodate individuals with limited financial resources. Reach out to adult day care centers in your area to inquire about their fee structures and any available financial assistance programs.

Planning Ahead for Adult Day Care Costs

As you consider adult day care for your loved one, it's essential to plan ahead and budget for the associated costs. Start by researching and comparing adult day care centers in your area to get an idea of the average costs and services provided. Consider the specific needs of your loved one and determine their level of care required. This will help you identify the type of adult day care center that best suits your senior loved one’s needs and budget.

Additionally, explore the various funding options discussed earlier in this guide. Determine your loved one's eligibility for Medicaid or veterans benefits, review their insurance policies, and assess their financial resources. By planning ahead and exploring different funding sources, you can ensure that adult day care remains an affordable option for your senior loved one's ongoing care and support.

Adult day care provides a valuable solution for older adults who need supervision and support during the day while their primary caregivers are unavailable. While the cost of adult day care may initially seem overwhelming, there are several ways to afford and pay for these services. Medicaid, veterans benefits, long-term care insurance, state and local programs, private payment options, sliding scale fees, and financial assistance are all potential avenues to explore. By planning ahead and exploring these funding options, you can make adult day care accessible and affordable for your loved one, providing them with a safe and stimulating environment while giving you peace of mind and the opportunity to take care of your own needs. Remember, each situation is unique, so it's important to assess your senior loved one's specific needs and consult with professionals to determine the best financial approach for their individual circumstances. With careful planning and research, you can find the right adult day care solution that meets both your senior loved one's needs and your budget.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior care more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and senior care and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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