Office for the Aging


Social Adult Day Services Program (SADS)

Social adult day services (SADS) are an important component of the community-based service-delivery system that helps to delay or prevent nursing home placement and the need for other very costly services, while providing vital assistance to the older person with cognitive and/or physical impairments and supporting their informal caregivers. Research demonstrates that caregivers who experience stress and burden are more likely to "burn out" and, thus, place their loved ones in an institution, directly impacting Medicaid spending for skilled nursing home care. SADS can help to ease the burden of caregivers by providing them with time to take care of other needs and address other priorities; the service also allows many caregivers to continue to work. At the same time, it addresses the basic needs of the individual needing care in a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment.

SADS is a structured, comprehensive program that provides functionally impaired individuals with socialization, supervision and monitoring, personal care, and nutrition in a protective setting. The program also may provide other services and support, such as transportation, information and assistance and caregiver assistance. In addition to addressing the individual's needs for assistance in activities of daily living, these programs provide a secure environment and therapeutic activities aimed at helping participants to achieve optimal physical and mental/cognitive functioning. They improve the quality of life for older adults by reducing social isolation, and increasing social and community engagement. By doing such, they prevent or delay further deterioration and the need for more expensive services. In addition to improving quality of life for functionally impaired adults, SADS services also improve quality of life for informal caregivers by giving them a break from their ongoing caregiving responsibilities and providing them with a feeling of confidence that their loved one is in a safe environment.

New York State's Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) provide social adult day services through a variety of state and federal funding programs, including Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III-B and III-E funds, and the State-funded Community Services for the Elderly program (CSE) and Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP). In addition, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) directly funds 17 SADS programs under a state-funded program (Section 215 of the NY Elder Law). All NYSOFA-funded SADS programs, those funded directly by NYSOFA and those funded by AAAs with aging funds administered by NYSOFA, must adhere to NYSOFA Social Adult Day Care Regulations (9NYCRR 6654.20 Social Adult Day Care Programs). In SFY 2014-2015, an appropriation of $1,072,000 was made available for NYSOFA-funded SADS programs.

The 17 programs directly funded by NYSOFA in SFY 2013-2014 provided the following:

  • Adult day services to approximately 1,100 functionally impaired older adults, one-third who are over age 85,
  • Eighty percent of these individuals had Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia including mild cognitive impairment and early memory loss,
  • Sixty-five percent of these individuals require constant supervision and cannot be left alone, and
  • Approximately one-half of the family caregivers who provide care to these individuals work outside the home.