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Adult day care offers recreational and health-related services to individuals and it is designed to assist physically or mentally impaired adults to remain in their communities. These are persons who might otherwise require institutional or long-term care and rehabilitation. There are two types of adult day care programs- medical model and social model. The medical model provides comprehensive medical, therapeutic, and rehabilitation day treatment. The social model offers supervised activities, peer support, companionship, and recreation. Both models assist older adults and those with chronic conditions to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.
Quality and standards of care provided vary from state to state and from one center or program to another. NADSA and the National Council on the Aging have developed standards and benchmarks for care, but adherence to these standards is voluntary. Nearly 78 percent of adult day centers are operated on a nonprofit or public basis.
Adult day care is commonly known as adult day services.
The following is an example of a State Statute (California) defining Adult Day Program:
According to Cal Health & Saf Code § 1502 (2) "Adult day program" means any community-based facility or program that provides care to persons 18 years of age or older in need of personal services, supervision, or assistance essential for sustaining the activities of daily living or for the protection of these individuals on less than a 24-hour basis.