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Day Programs

If you're a caregiver, you might want to know more about day programs — programs that offer supervision, assistance with daily activities, socialization and activities for care recipients during the day. Day programs can be a resource for caregivers who need a respite (a break in providing care during the day), e.g., to run errands, spend time alone, attend a community activity, etc. Day programs can also benefit your family member or loved one who can spend their day socializing with others in a supervised community setting.

image of a elderly man in a wheelchair

What is a day program?

Day programs, e.g., adult day center, adult day, day care, are usually open during the day. Some programs offer evening and weekend hours and transportation. Day programs provide supervision, recreation, social activities, meals, personal care and varying levels of health care services to people of all ages, who have a chronic health condition or a disability.

What are the benefits of a day program?

Utilizing a day program can give you and others who care for your loved one a needed respite or break from providing daily care so you have time to take care of personal business or simply relax.

Day programs can help your family member engage in social opportunities and participate in activities with others. Day programs may encourage your loved one to engage in social activities by spending time with others. Participating in activities, i.e., music, games, etc. might also improve daily living skills for family members and other loved ones who have Alzheimer’s, dementia, an intellectual or developmental disability.


What if I have concerns about my family member not wanting to be at a day program?

Helping your family member transition into a new environment or place such as a day center is important especially for those who find it difficult to make changes in their daily routine. One option is to spend time with your loved one at the day program. If you have the time to slowly transition in this way it may help to improve your family member’s level of comfort in a new setting. In addition by spending time at the day program you will be better informed about what the day program offers and can better determine whether it is an appropriate program for our loved one. Making changes and accepting change takes time. Give your loved one a chance to get to know his or her new environment before deciding if a program is or is not a good fit.


Through the Department of Social Services you can search for registered or licensed child care providers in South Dakota communities. After making your selections, a provider list will generate.

Adult Day Services 

Adult Day Services helps individuals to remain living in their own home for as long as possible. Through structured activities and services, Adult Day Services provide care and supervision for part of the day outside of the home. This service enables caregivers to work or pursue other daytime activities while continuing to care for the care receiver at home.


Adult Day Services staff develop an Individual Plan of Care to meet the needs of the individual by developing activities and services. The Adult Day offers a nutritious lunch and snacks during the day. Limited nursing services such as health screening, blood pressure check, medication management and a general assessment of the individual's needs may be provided.


Adult Day Services Programs can be located within a senior center, church, assisted living, nursing facility, hospital or be a separate program site.

See a list of Adult Day Service Programs who have a contract with the Division of Long Term Services and Supports.