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Adult Day Care Coordinators

History

Adult day care had its beginnings in the 1940s in psychiatric hospitals. It started as an effort to help patients who had been released from mental institutions. Over the next 20 years the focus gradually shifted from psychiatric care to other kinds of health maintenance. The landmark publication, Developing Day Care for Older People, published by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) in 1972, provided technical assistance for establishing adult day care, and by 1978 there were nearly 300 adult day care centers throughout the United States.

In the 1980s, the first Congressional hearing was held on adult day care programs and the Economic Recovery Act was passed, allowing a tax credit to families with elderly members in day care. NCOA established voluntary standards.

According to the National Adult Day Services Association, more than 5,000 adult day centers are currently operating in the United States. Many are affiliated with larger organizations such as home care, skilled nursing facilities, medical centers, or multipurpose senior organizations.