How Much is Senior Day Care and Is It Worth it?

Sep 12, 2017

How Much is Senior Day Care and Is It Worth it?

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With more than 5,000 adult day care centers operating in the United States, offering social activities, meals, and therapeutic activities to an estimated 150,000 seniors, it’s apparent that use of senior day care centers is growing like the rest of the senior care industry. For those who are looking into adult day care services, it’s important to do adequate research before making a selection. There are centers that focus on certain things, like people with Alzheimer’s or Veterans, as well as for-profit and non-profit centers, which can impact the price. Where the adult day care center is located in the country can also impact the cost of care. Therefore, be sure to find out how much senior day care will cost for your or your loved one and whether or not it is worth it for you or your loved one.

How Much is Senior Day Care in Your State?

The cost of senior day care can vary depending on what state you live in, but the average across the U.S. is $70 per day as of 2016. Here is a list of the average daily cost of adult day care in each state based on 2016 reports.

Alabama - $20     

Alaska - $100   

Arizona - $60     

Arkansas -  $57     

California - $55     

Colorado - $46     

Connecticut - $58     

Delaware - $47     

D.C. -  $41     

Florida - $45     

Georgia - $43     

Hawaii - $48     

Idaho - $70     

Illinois - $51     

Indiana - $55     

Iowa -  $44     

Kansas - $53     

Kentucky - $49     

Louisiana - $50     

Maine - $77     

Maryland - $56     

Mass. - $47     

Michigan - $57     

Minnesota - $57     

Mississippi - $48     

Missouri - $52     

Montana - $68     

Nebraska - $41     

Nevada  - $51     

New Hamp. - $50     

New Jersey - $61     

New Mexico - $77     

New York - $64     

North Carolina - $35     

North Dakota - $55     

Ohio - $39     

Oklahoma - $43     

Oregon - $67     

Pennsylvania - $43     

Rhode Island - $53     

South Carolina - $39     

South Dakota - $57     

Tennessee - $43     

Texas - $24     

Utah - $51     

Vermont - $88     

Virginia - $46     

Washington - $48     

West Virginia - $41     

Wisconsin - $48     

Wyoming - $50     

Based on this information, Alaska has the highest cost of adult day care while Alabama has the lowest. This chart can help people to answer the question of how much senior day care will be for their loved one.

Now, the next step is to answer the second most common question – who is going to pay for it? There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Medicare, which covers most elderly Americans, does not pay for adult day care. The good news is that Medicaid does, but this requires the person to qualify for Medicaid in their state and to meet other standards in order to have senior day care paid for. Some studies have found that senior day care is cheaper than home-care, so that’s a good thing to keep in mind when thinking about selecting a care option for your loved one. 

Is Adult Day Care Worth the Price?

Now that we know how much senior day care costs and some ideas on how to pay for it, let’s consider whether you or your loved one fits the mold for those that go to adult day care. The average age of people attending an adult day center care is 72, and two-thirds of all adult day center care recipients are women. However, that doesn’t mean that people have to be in their 70s to go to adult day care and that only females go to adult day care. Each state has different regulations as far as how old you can be to go to adult day care and gender doesn’t matter. Certain diseases can also qualify a person for adult day care, despite their age, such as early-onset Alzheimer’s. Generally speaking, adult day care is designed for seniors who are seeking social interaction, mental stimulation, and who don’t necessarily need full-time medical care but could use personal assistance during the day while their main caretaker is at work.

Benefits of Adult Day Care

At the end of the day, deciding whether or not adult day care is right for your loved one comes down to what you expect or desire them to get out of senior day care. There are many benefits to adult day care that may make it worth the cost, depending on what services you need. Some benefits of adult day care include companionship, activities, and independence. It’s important for seniors to stay active and not feel lonely or depressed as they age, and senior day care can give them an outlet to avoid that loneliness that often plagues them at home. It also gives them something that they can go do away from their caretaker and returns to them a feeling of independence that they may have lost when they started needing assistance. Although some seniors may not be open to going to adult day care, there are ways to bring up the conversation gently with them.

There are many other types of care available for seniors. Learn more about senior care options at

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