CAADS - California Association for Adult Day Services

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What Are Adult Day Services

Updated AUGUST 11, 2017


To listen to a short podcast about the Adult Day Services models in California, click here.


Adult Day Services

Adult Day Services programs offer a safe, positive, caring alternative to nursing home care for those who do not need 24-hour skilled nursing. These programs are designed to help people stay mentally and physically active, reduce isolation, improve their health, and prevent decline of their abilities.

People typically attend a center in their community two to five times a week, based on their individual need. All programs either provide or can assist with transportation arrangements. Program hours typically range from four to eight hours per day; however, some centers offer extended hours to accommodate working caregivers. Many centers also provide caregiver support groups and training.

Services vary from center to center but may include therapeutic activities such as art, singing, age-appropriate games, health monitoring, social work, meals, dietary counseling, physical, occupational and speech therapy. Some programs focus on a specific population -- for example those who share a similar cultural or ethnic background or younger adults with head injuries or developmental disabilities. Families also receive help with information and referral to other services, as needed.

California's licensed adult day services centers may operate as one or more program types.


Adult Day Program (ADP)

Licensed by California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division

ADP centers offer a non-medical model of care through a day-time program for elderly and younger adults with a focus on protective supervision by trained aides, structured activities, health monitoring, meals, out-of-home respite and support for the caregiver.


Adult Day Health Care (ADHC)

Licensed by California Department of Public Health

ADHC centers offer a medical model of care through an out-patient day program for older persons and adults with chronic medical, cognitive or mental health conditions and/or disabilities that are at risk of needing institutional care. A coordinated team of licensed professionals, including nurses, social workers and physical, speech and occupational therapists, focus on medical, preventive and social care to improve health outcomes for high cost / high risk patients. Also provided are activities, personal care, hot meals, nutritional counseling, and transportation to and from the center. The majority of participants are Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Effective April 1, 2012, Medi-Cal beneficiaries are subject to the state's eligibility criteria for Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) and must be in Medi-Cal managed care where available and required.


Community Based Adult Services (CBAS)

Licensed by California Department of Public Health with Medi-Cal Provider Approval by California Department of Health Care Services / California Department of Aging

CBAS centers are licensed ADHCs approved by the state to provide a medical model of care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. While CBAS services are the same as described under Adult Day Health Care (above), Medi-Cal beneficiaries must meet strict CBAS eligibility requirements, and, with few exceptions, must enroll in a Medi-Cal managed care plan or county organized health system, if one exists in the beneficiary's county of residence.

  • Apply for ADHC / CBAS Center License - California Department of Public Health
    (ADHC licensure process cannot begin until ADHC / CBAS Applicant Pre-Screening Process through the California Department of Aging, CBAS Branch has been completed.)

    Go to section for: L&C Forms
    Click on: L&C All Forms Page - A listing of forms, application letters, checklists used by L&C

    Go to section for: Health Facility
    Click on: Adult Day Health Center - Application Request Letter & Checklist

    Return to: LL&C All Forms Page

    Go to: L&C Forms
    Click on: CDPH 930 - Request for ADHC Center Moratorium Exemption
    Return t:o LL&C All Forms Page
    Go to: Miscelleaneous Forms - Review the following for applicability:
    ADH 0006 - Staffing/Services Arrangement
    ADH 0007 - Proposal to Share Space
    ADH 0008 - Request for Designation as a Rural Alternative ADHC Center
    ADH 0014 - ADHC Program Flexibility Request
    CDA 278 - Administrator and Program Director Information
    CDA 282 - Local Fire Inspection Authority Information
    DHCS 1051 - Civil Rights Compliance Review
    IMS 36 - Medi-Cal Participation Agreement
    MC 406 - Disclaimer of Conflict of Interest

Alzheimer's Day Care Resource Center (ADCRC)

A specialty designation by the state for a licensed ADP and/ or ADHC / CBAS center

ADCRC centers are licensed ADP or ADHC / CBAS centers offering specialized Alzheimer's care for the moderate to late stage Alzheimer's patient or persons with similar conditions. A highly trained team applies a philosophy of care emphasizing dignity and respect, while fostering optimal independence according to each patient's level of functioning. Also provided are caregiver respite and support.

California Association for Adult Day Services
1107 9th Street, Suite 701 || Sacramento, CA 95814-3610
T: (916) 552-7400 || F: (866) 725-3123
E:  caads@caads.org

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