Adult day health services are an alternative or supplement to home care and a cost-effective alternative to moving to assisted living or a nursing home to receive care. Adult day health centers enable continued community-based living for individuals with physical and cognitive limitations and provide respite for their caregivers.
In recent years, adult day health services centers have played and increasing role in providing long-term care services, as evidenced by the rapid growth in programs from 2,000 in 1989 to over 4,600 in 2009.
While this increase is partially due to the aging of our society, much of this growth can be attributed to the benefits offered through adult day services. First, adult day services centers allow individuals to remain in their home settings rather than an institutional setting, which is what the majority of caregivers and care recipients desire. Adult day health services are also far less expensive than nursing home care. The national average daily rate for adult day health services was estimated at $67 compared to $198 for a semi-private room in a nursing home. (Note: the average daily rate for adult day services among respondents in this study was under $62). Finally, new evidence from a case-controlled study suggests adult day health care can improve health-related quality of life for participants. In addition, these services are effective in improving caregiver well-being and reducing burden, role overload, worry, anger, and depression.