7 Steps to Start an Adult Day Care
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7 Steps to Start an Adult Day Care

Posted on
June 25, 2020
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How to Open an Adult Day Care Center: The 7 C's Checklist


Now is a great time to open an Adult Day Care service. It is a growing market due to the ageing population in the U.S. The cost of assisted living and skilled home care is simply not affordable for many Americans. Therefore, Adult Day services allow families the option to care for and support their loved ones at home while also working full-time jobs, raising children, and caring for their well-being, too.

Adult Day Care facilities provide an important and ever-increasing need in ageing and disabled communities. They offer family caregivers respite in addition to providing ageing and disabled populations with social interaction, health services and advocacy, meals, transportation, and a safe environment. 


If you want to open an Adult Day Care service, here are steps you should take:

1. Consider Your Options

Acquire an existing Adult Day Care center

This is a fairly common option. There are obvious benefits to buying up an established business rather than starting from scratch. However, you will want to make sure you thoroughly research the business’ history and develop a promotion plan going forward. If it is the right choice for you, work with a trusted business broker. Their expertise will help make the acquisition go smoothly. 


Open an Adult Day Care center franchise 

If you are a business rookie, franchising is an opportunity for you to consider. There are far fewer risks involved due to the stable foundation of an already established and successful brand. Furthermore, it is beneficial to have guidance and help from business owners when you’re a new entrepreneur as well.


Different Types of Adult Day Services

It is important to distinguish the various types of Adult Day Care provision. Keep in mind, a facility may offer more than one of the following:


Adult Day Social Care: Provides meals, recreational activities, day trips, and social interaction. Clients do not have significant health issues or impairments. 


Adult Day Medical Care: In addition to social care offerings, Adult Day Healthcare providers usually have RNs and other therapeutic health practitioners on staff. They may offer physical, occupational and speech therapy. Clients are generally those requiring more medical care and would not be safely left at home alone.


Adult Day Skilled Care: This model provides specialized care to specific client populations. For instance, this could include adults living with developmental disabilities or those with dementia. 

2. Conduct Market Research

Take a look at the US Census Data to see if there is a need in your community. For instance, look at how many people over the age of 65 are living in your area in addition to other key demographics.

Then, find out how many Adult Day Services are in your area. Next, visit or call them. This will help you determine what programs or areas of service are missing from what your community currently offers. It is important to set yourself apart from the competition and attempt to fill an unmet need.

3. Contact Your State Association Partner

Each state has its own set rules and regulations you will need to be aware of. Most states have Adult Day Service Associations you can contact to find out about state-specific licensures, accreditations and mandatory regulations. 

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services gives you access to state-specific rules and regulations in this document: Regulatory Review of Adult Day Services. From here, you should be able to...

4. Create a Checklist of What You Need to Do Start Your Adult Day Service

Once you know the rules and requirements for opening an Adult Day Care, you can start making a to-do list of action items. For example, some items might be to write a medication policy, apply for accreditation and license, apply for grants, purchase insurance, find a financial consultant, etc. This will help keep you organized and ensure you acquire everything you need to be set up for success.

5. Check Out Funding Options

You may be wondering, “Where can I find investors to start an Adult Day Care?” 

See if your Adult Day Care business is eligible for Small Business Grants (SBA) or funding programs. Some other adult day care service funding opportunities to consider are: 

Social Services Block Grant (SSB)

This is a significant source of federal funding that states use to support adult day care communities. Contact your local state agency to find out if they allocate SSBC funding for adult day care.

Older Americans Act Funding (OAA)

OAA resources are available for senior centers and other community organizations to deliver services such as meals, transportation, information and referral, health promotion and disease prevention, and caregiver support.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grants

These grants focus on expanding public policies, community-based programs, system changes and other interventions that are having a meaningful impact on health.

Alzheimer’s Foundation for America (AFA)

AFA provides various grants to member organizations offering support, services and education to individuals, families and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.

6. Communicate with Support Networks

If you’re starting an Adult Day Care, speak to someone who owns an Adult Day Care service outside of your area and ask them for advice. They won’t consider you to be a competitor. Consequently, they’ll be more open to answering industry-related questions and potentially mentoring you through the first steps. Also, become a member of the National Adult Day Services Association. NADSA is there to help you develop professionally. They host educational events, promote public policy, publish research and support providers with all kinds of resources and networking opportunities.

7. Compose an Adult Day Care Business Plan

Writing an effective business plan for your Adult Day Care service is crucial to success. You can find examples of Adult Day Care Business plans online to refer to for structure and content. This is where those support networks mentioned above can offer helpful guidance, too. 

Consult StoriiCare - FREE Digital Assessment & Cost Estimate

If you are writing a business plan or grant proposal for a new Adult Day Care, take advantage of StoriiCare. StoriiCare is an Adult Day Care Software provider. Their system is modern and easy-to-use. It enables care providers to digitally schedule clients and transport, create custom calendars, track service user participation, connect with families, and so much more! 

StoriiCare offers a free digital assessment and cost estimate to include in your business proposal. Why include this or consider care management software? It shows investors that you:

  • Are forward-thinking. Digital care management is already on its way to being an industry standard. Including digital care management plans and costs in your business plans indicates that you’re future-proofing your care provision. 
  • Understand the market. Service users and their families are increasingly expecting a means of digital communication. Family caregivers are tech-savvy and StoriiCare enables you to keep caregivers up to date with digital signage, media, community announcements, private messaging, calendar sharing and more. Read about how care management software becomes a powerful communication tool during a pandemic.
  • Value the importance of data-driven decisions, measuring results and program evaluation. StoriiCare gathers robust data as you use it, generating in-depth trends and analytics reports. These reports can be used when applying for grants or other funding sources. 
  • Have a powerful marketing tool. StoriiCare is progressive and appealing to potential service users and their families. It can be used strategically in marketing efforts to differentiate yourself from other providers. 


Click here to book a call with a member of the StoriiCare team.

A home health worker shares a tablet with an elderly woman