Determining ‘how much does senior day care cost’ can be critical for families managing the care of a loved one. With prices ranging widely, the average cost centers around $1,690 per month. In the following sections, we’ll explore factors that affect these costs. Also we’ll discover options for financial assistance, and how to potentially reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

senior day care


Things to have in mind when you are considering senior day care

  1. Senior day care costs average $1,690 per month and vary widely by state, with rates ranging from $20 to $168 per day. The cost depends on geographical location, services offered, and payment structure, such as hourly or monthly rates.
  2. There are financial assistance options for senior day care include Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, and private health insurance, although eligibility and coverage vary significantly.
  3. Finding affordable senior day care can be achieved by researching local options, comparing centers, inquiring about financial aid, and leveraging tax deductions and credits for adult day care expenses.

Understanding Senior Day Care Costs

Senior day care costs vary significantly based on location and the services offered. On average, you can expect to pay for adult day care services around $1,690 per month. However, these costs can range anywhere from $20 per day in Alabama to a staggering $168 per day in Alaska. 

Such variation is due to differences in living costs and state-specific regulations.

Senior day care centers may charge based on different structures, including:

  • Hourly rates
  • Half-day rates
  • Full-day rates
  • Monthly rates (assuming services five days per week)

Projected future costs for adult day health care suggest an increase. The estimated monthly median cost expected to rise from $1,847 in 2024 to $2,481 in 2034.

Comparing Costs with Other Care Options

When compared to other care options, adult day care emerges as a significantly more cost-effective solution. Home care, such as home health aides or homemaker services, for instance, can cost substantially more for the same number of hours of care. Simillary, assisted living facilities or nursing homes, which provide 24/7 care in a residential setting, can cost several times more than adult day care.

Choosing adult day care still provides your loved ones with necessary supervision and personal care, but at a fraction of the cost of full-time in-home or residential options.

Factors Affecting senior day care cost

Several factors can influence the senior day care cost. The location of the facility plays a significant role, with median costs varying greatly across different states. For instance, Alabama offers care at lower rates ($35 to $38/day) compared to Vermont ($136 to $163/day).

The services offered by the facility also impact the cost. Basic services are typically included in the base rate, while more intensive health services may come at an additional cost. The staff-to-client ratio, as regulated by the state, can also influence the cost. Specialized care such as Alzheimer’s or dementia care often requires higher staffing levels, thus affecting pricing.

Some centers offer flexible payment structures to accommodate seniors with fixed incomes or those who do not require daily care.

Financial Assistance for Senior Day Care

The good news is that financial assistance for adult day care can come from various sources, including:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans’ benefits
  • Private health insurance

The eligibility for these programs plays a critical role in determining the out-of-pocket costs for senior day care services.

In addition to these federal programs, some senior day care centers may offer scholarships or sliding scale fees to support low-income seniors. These centers may have partnerships with local organizations or universities, which can reduce operational costs and enable them to provide savings to their clients. Asking about available financial assistance options at the senior day care facilities under your consideration is a prudent step.

Medicare and Medicare Advantage

It’s important to be aware that Medicare does not cover non-medical custodial care like adult day care services. However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Medicare Advantage plans, which offer additional benefits, may provide partial coverage for adult day care services.

While this offers relief to many, one should note that the coverage is not standardized. The level of coverage varies significantly among different Medicare Advantage Plans, and therefore, it’s advisable to thoroughly review your Medicare benefits and discuss with your plan provider to understand what’s covered and what’s not, including how Medicare pay factors into your plan.

Medicaid Coverage

Medicaid, on the other hand, does cover adult day care services through Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers and State Plan Medicaid. This serves as a cost-saving measure to potentially reduce nursing home admissions. Common ways that Medicaid provides coverage for adult day care include HCBS Waivers, 1915(c) Waivers, and 1115 Demonstration Waivers, which allow for coverage outside of nursing home settings.

However, keep in mind that the coverage provided by Medicaid comes with limitations and eligibility requirements. Some important points to consider are:

  • Services are typically capped at 8 hours per day and 5 days per week.
  • Enrollment caps and waiting lists are common for waivers.
  • State Plan Medicaid entails stricter financial limits.
  • Medicaid coverage for adult day care varies significantly by state, necessitating individual review for precise benefits.

Veterans’ Benefits

The U.S. provides financial assistance for adult day care, including adult day services, to veterans and their spouses. This support can help them access the care they need. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers pension assistance for eligible low-income veterans and adult day health care options for caregivers.

Eligible veterans requiring the aid of another person or those who are housebound may benefit from the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit, which increases their monthly pension to help cover adult day care costs. Furthermore, the VA’s Adult Day Health Care program offers veterans social activities, peer support, companionship, recreation, and professional nursing care, assisting veterans with daily living activities and providing respite care to family caregivers.

Insurance and Private Pay Options for Adult Day Care

While public programs can provide significant financial assistance, many families also turn to private medical insurance and supplemental health care benefits to help cover the costs of senior day care. Private medical insurance encompasses any insurance not provided by the state or federal government, including plans purchased through state or federal marketplaces, group plans offered by employers, or those offered by private insurance companies, licensed agents, or brokers.

It’s important to realize that private medical insurance seldom covers adult day health care costs, especially when licensed medical professionals are involved. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully review your plan’s benefits and discuss with your insurance provider to understand what’s covered and what’s not.

Long-Term Care Insurance

One type of private insurance that may provide coverage for senior day care is long-term care insurance. These comprehensive policies typically include coverage for non-medical services, such as assistance with daily activities, and may also cover nursing care, as well as physical therapy, occupational, or speech therapy.

Furthermore, some long-term care insurance policies might cover adult day care services if they are associated with medical care or rehabilitation prescribed by a physician. Mental health services provided through an adult day care center can also be covered, depending on the specific policy.

Private Insurance Limitations

Despite the potential benefits of private insurance, awareness of its limitations is important. Licensed medical professionals are usually not covered by private medical insurance for adult day health care costs. This can create financial strain for individuals seeking this type of care. Moreover, long-term care insurance policies may have payout limitations, such as a set number of years, which can affect coverage for adult day care services.

Pre-existing conditions may lead to an exclusion period in long-term care insurance policies, excluding coverage during this time. Furthermore, an individual’s health conditions or pre-existing long-term care can disqualify them from obtaining long-term care insurance, or result in limited coverage at a higher premium rate. Hence, reviewing your policy guidelines and consulting with insurers for additional assistance is crucial.

State-Specific Programs and Resources

Apart from federal programs and private insurance, there are also state-specific non-Medicaid assistance programs, also known as nursing home diversion programs. These programs help cover costs for adult day care and are offered in at least thirty-nine states.

These state-funded programs significantly aid individuals with conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia by providing daytime supervision in a group setting, addressing both their care needs and associated costs. These programs are designed to help elderly residents in the state avoid moving to nursing homes by either preventing or delaying the placement. The main goal is to provide support and resources to enable them to stay in their homes for as long as possible.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements for these state-specific programs differ from state to state, reflecting the unique policies of each region. For example, some states may require proof of residency, income documentation, and medical records as part of the application process.

Moreover, the care recipient must typically demonstrate a need for skilled nursing care to qualify for such programs. It’s advisable to refer to state-by-state guides to understand the specific eligibility requirements for each program.

How to Apply

Applying for state-specific programs involves gathering necessary paperwork such as roof of residency, income documentation, and medical records

Submitting applications through various methods, including online portals, mail, or in-person visits, it will vary depending on the state’s infrastructure and available options. It’s advisable to check the specific application process for your state to ensure a smooth application process.

Tax Deductions and Credits for Adult Day Care

Did you know that tax deductions and credits for adult day care can also provide financial relief? You can claim tax deductions for adult day care under medical and dental expenses if the primary reason for the care is due to medical necessity. Furthermore, the Dependent Care Credit can be used for adult day care costs if the individual is a dependent or spouse who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care, although specific conditions apply.

However, one should note that adult daycare costs can be claimed either as a dependent care credit or as a deduction for medical expenses, but not both. To understand which medical expenses, including those related to adult day care, are tax-deductible, you can refer to IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.

Qualifying Expenses

Qualifying expenses for tax deductions and credits include medical necessity and dependent care requirements. To qualify for the Dependent Care Credit, the care recipient must be physically or mentally incapable of self-care and reside with the taxpayer for more than half of the year.

Moreover, if you’re claiming adult day care costs as a deduction for medical expenses, the costs must be primarily for, and essential to, the medical care of you, your spouse, or your dependent. The cost of meals and lodging at a hospital or similar institution is included in medical expenses if the main reason for being there is to receive medical care.

Claiming the Deduction or Credit

Claiming tax benefits for adult day care involves reporting care provider information, total expenses, and filing appropriate forms. To claim tax benefits for adult day care expenses, the care provider’s tax identification number and the total expenses paid during the tax year must be reported.

Form 2441: Child and Dependent Care Expenses must be filed with the federal tax return to claim the Dependent Care Credit. Additionally, medical expenses, including senior day care, are deductible on Schedule A (Form 1040) as an itemized deduction when they exceed 7.5% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

It’s important to note that several states offer an additional deduction of a percentage of the federal Dependent Care Tax Credit from the state tax returns for day care expenses.

Tips for Finding Affordable Senior Day Care

While finding affordable senior day care may seem daunting, the right approach makes it achievable. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Research local options for adult day care centers.
  2. Compare centers based on their services, amenities, and reputation.
  3. Inquire about financial assistance options, such as Medicaid or VA benefits.
  4. Ask about deposits, base fees, additional service costs, billing procedures, insurance filing, sick and cancellation policies.
  5. Determine if the center is a good fit for your loved one’s specific needs and preferences.

By following these steps, you can find an affordable senior day care option that meets your loved one’s needs.

Researching Local Options

Conducting thorough research marks one of the first steps in finding affordable senior day care. You can consult online reviews and testimonials to assess the quality and satisfaction with local senior day care centers. Make use of resources like the Eldercare Locator or their helpline for finding nearby senior day care programs.

In addition, seek referrals from: family; friends; healthcare providers specializing in medication management and local community organizations for reputable senior day care centers.

You can also contact local senior or community centers for additional programs or referrals to affordable day care services.

Visiting and Comparing Senior Day Care Centers

After conducting your research, the next step involves visiting and comparing various senior day care centers. Observe whether senior day care centers provide a cheerful and well-maintained environment, as it can significantly influence the attendees’ well-being.

Inquire about the staff-to-client ratio and staff qualifications, such as their experience and background checks, to guarantee high-quality care and safety. Additionally, consider arranging a trial day or short-term period at the center to personally assess its suitability for the senior’s needs before making a long-term commitment.

Flexible scheduling options at senior day care centers, like half-day care or attending only a few days a week, can also help reduce costs. Some centers may offer pricing structures that decrease the daily rate for more frequent attendance, utilizing bulk rates for cost-effectiveness.

Lastly, utilizing resources from the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can provide valuable information on available senior support, and joining caregiver support groups can provide recommendations on affordable senior day care options.


In conclusion, understanding senior day care costs and the various financial assistance options available is crucial for families seeking the best care for their loved ones. From Medicare and Medicaid to veterans’ benefits and private insurance, various sources can help offset the costs of senior day care. State-specific programs and tax benefits can also provide significant financial relief.

However, the key to finding affordable senior day care lies in thorough research, comparing different centers, and understanding the eligibility requirements for various assistance programs. With the right approach, it’s possible to find a quality senior day care that fits within your budget, ensuring that your loved ones receive the care and support they need.


How much does senior day care cost near Maryland?

The cost of senior day care services in Maryland ranges from $85 to $110 per day, which is significantly lower than the cost of a home health aide at $18 to $22 per hour. Individual centers can provide detailed information about fees and payment options.

How much does Adult Day Care cost in Texas?

The average cost of adult day care in Texas is approximately $65 per day.

Does Medicare cover senior day care costs?

No, Medicare does not cover senior day care costs, but some Medicare Advantage Plans may offer partial coverage for adult day care services

Can I get financial assistance for senior day care costs?

Yes, financial assistance for senior day care costs is available from sources such as Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, and private health insurance, as well as through scholarships or sliding scale fees offered by some day care centers to support low-income seniors.

Are there tax benefits available for senior day care costs?

Yes, you can claim tax deductions for adult day care under medical and dental expenses or as a Dependent Care Credit, depending on eligibility. These deductions can help offset the costs of senior daycare.