The Crucial Role of Adult Day Centers in Supporting People Living with Dementia



As communities work to better serve and support individuals living with dementia and their caregivers, adult day centers are proving to be invaluable resources for meeting a variety of needs.


The benefits of socialization and engagement are tremendous for participants in an adult day center or senior day program. Loneliness and social isolation among our old adult population, especially those living with dementia, is a public health priority, and adult day centers are essential components to help combat what some experts deem an epidemic. 

Let's begin with the benefits of socialization and engagement for those attending adult day centers or senior day programs. Loneliness and social isolation are pressing issues among our elderly population, particularly those living with dementia. Some experts even refer to this as a public health crisis. Adult day centers are playing a pivotal role in addressing what's increasingly seen as an epidemic.

At the forefront of this effort is the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA), serving as a critical national network, advocate, and resource leader for programs across the United States.


According to NADSA, the  Adult Day Services is a system of professionally delivered, integrated, home- and community-based, therapeutic, social and health-related services provided to individuals to sustain living within the community.


These centers provide a comprehensive program of professional and compassionate services for adults in a community-based group setting. The goal is to offer social and certain health services to adults who need supervised care outside their homes during the day. Additionally, these centers provide caregivers with a much-needed break from their demanding caregiving responsibilities. Adult day centers usually operate during regular business hours on weekdays, with some offering services in the evenings and on weekends. Although specific services may vary, most adult day centers provide the following:

  1. Social Activities: Participants engage in planned activities suitable for their conditions, encouraging interaction with others attending.

  2. Transportation: They offer convenient door-to-door transportation services.

  3. Meals and Snacks: Nutritious meals and snacks are provided, with options for those with specific dietary needs.

  4. Personal Care: Assistance with daily activities like toileting, grooming, and eating is available.

  5. Therapeutic Activities: Physical exercise and mental stimulation are part of the program, benefiting all participants.

Broadly speaking, adult day centers fall into three categories:

  1. Social Centers: These centers provide meals, recreation, and some health-related services.

  2. Medical/Health Centers: In addition to social activities, they offer more intensive health and therapeutic services.

  3. Specialized Centers: These cater exclusively to specific care recipients, such as individuals with diagnosed dementias or developmental disabilities.

Caregivers typically select the type of center based on the specific needs of the individual they are caring for.

As we strive to enable individuals living with dementia to remain in their homes and communities, adult day services and centers have gained significant importance within the aging services landscape.

The importance of training and education for the workforce in this field cannot be overstated. It's essential to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to deliver the care and support families need to build robust care teams for those living with dementia.

AGE-u-cate is pleased to offer its powerful Dementia Live® simulation training to the NADSA annual convention. The transformational training and community-facing benefits of Dementia Live and other AGE-u-cate programs focus on improving quality of life and quality of care with a mission grounded in person-centered care and creating culture change.  


Dementia Live Demo