Cost of Adult Day Centers Rises

An adult day center costs an average of $64 a day, up $3 a day from 2007, according to MetLife's survey of adult day center costs. The survey also examined home health care rates.

Vermont has the highest adult center costs, with an average daily rate of $141, while Montgomery, Alabama, has the lowest costs, with a rate of $27 a day.

Adult day centers, although not uniform across the United States, are normally licensed and provide older adults with socialization, recreational activities, lunch and some health services. "The trend toward older persons desiring to stay in their homes or 'age in place' has increased the demand for in-home care and other programs and services available during the day," said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

MetLife found that the average hourly rate for home health care aides is $20, a $1 increase from 2007. Meanwhile, the national average hourly homemaker/companion rate remained the same at $18. The survey notes that rates for home care services vary considerably by region. Home health care aides normally provide assistance with daily activities such as eating, dressing and bathing. A homemaker/companion generally provides companionship, light housekeeping and meal preparation.

The survey was conducted via telephone in July and August 2008 and covered all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Last year was the first year MetLife surveyed adult day care costs.

The full survey results, including charts showing adult day center and home health care costs in metropolitan centers, can be found at under "What's New." To go directly to the report in PDF format, click here. (If you do not have the free PDF reader installed on your computer, download it here.)