How to Start an Adult Day Care

A group of men and women standing in a backyard having discussions.
The need for adult daycare keeps rising; older adults need a place where their care is the utmost priority. Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images

With the growing aging population in the United States, the need for adult day care is growing. Adult day care is essentially the same as child day care, except that it's for adults. All the people attending adult day care live at home and can take care of themselves. All they are looking for is a place to go where they can occupy their time and meet other people. This helps them stay active and healthier (both physically and mentally) longer. Some of the people require a bit of help, which is provided by the center. At the adult day care they will be provided with meals, have activities, do exercises and may even go on field trips. Some adult day care centers provide transportation to and from the home. The seniors pay for this service, but there are government subsidies available [source: Wisconsin]. Here's how to start an adult day care:

  1. Register your business name and file it with your state's Secretary of State.
  2. Obtain adequate insurance. Remember you're dealing with the elderly and anything can happen.
  3. Obtain an operating license to run an adult day care. The licensing requirements vary from state to state, so you'll have to find out what's required in your state. You may need to pass an exam before obtaining a license.
  4. Inquire at your state's Department for the Aging as to whether there are any special things you should know before starting your adult day care.
  5. Have your facilities inspected to make sure they comply with all the local zoning laws as well as with any laws pertaining to seniors. Your facilities will need access ramps, doors that are wide enough to accommodate wheel chairs, railings in the bathroom and halls etc. It's probably best to hire a consultant who can help you do things right.
  6. Hire your staff. You'll need an experienced program coordinator, as well as a full time nurse and an experienced physical education person [source: Care Pathways].


How to Start Adult Day Care FAQ

How do I start a senior day care business?
To start an adult day care: 1. Register your business name with your state's Secretary of State 2. Obtain insurance 3. Obtain an operating license 4. Inquire whether your state requires any special considerations for an adult day care 5. Get your facility inspected 6. Hire experienced staff to avoid liability.
How much does it cost to start a senior care business?
The cost of starting an adult day care varies from daycare to day care and mostly depends on the size of your startup. Normally a startup can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000. However, if you are purchasing a franchise license, expect start-up to be around $60,000 to $100,000.
What are the six senior center models?
When looking to open your adult day care, there are six major senior center models that you can choose from: 1. Emotional 2. Spiritual 3. Intellectual 4. Social 5. Physical 6. Occupational
What do day care centers provide for the elderly?
Adult day cares are basically communal spaces for the elderly. These spaces offer respite breaks, socialization opportunities, care services and more (varying from day care to day care).
What is day care for the elderly?
Adult day care centers are designed specifically to take care of senior citizens when they aren’t able to take care of themselves anymore. They get to socialize with people of their age and enjoy planned activities as a group. Not only do these places care for their physical and psychological needs, but also healthcare requirements.