Page Reviewed / Updated – May 20, 2019

Program Description

The Tennessee Department of Human Services offers Adult Day Care, sometimes referred to as Adult Day Services, to low-income elderly and disabled residents with the goal of helping eligible applicants remain living in their homes and avoid institutional placement (presumably Medicaid funded). Adult Day Care provides personal care and supervision during daytime hours. It is the state’s philosophy that by doing so they better enable seniors to live independently or enable families to care for their aging loved ones at home, thereby avoiding the unnecessary and costly placement of individuals in Medicaid funded nursing homes.

Adult Day Care is funded through the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program to administering agencies, and unfortunately, is not available statewide.

Eligibility Guidelines

Residency – applicants must be legal, Tennessee residents who reside in the geographic area in which they are applying for services. There is no duration of residency requirement, which means persons moving into the area are free to apply for assistance. Nor is there a requirement that the beneficiary be living on their own, only that they not be living in a residential care community.

Age – applicants must be at least 60 years of age or be 18 years of age or older and disabled.

Income – applicants must have an annual income no greater than 125% of the federal poverty level. As of 2019, this means an individual cannot have an income greater than $15,612.50 / year or calculated monthly at $1301.04.

Health Need – applicants must require supervision or be unable to manage their activities of daily living, such as an inability to dress and bathe oneself or difficulty with mobility.

Benefits and Services

These services are funded through the Social Service Block Grant (CSBG) program to administering agencies and are provided to participants without charge.  However, funding is finite and not all services are available for all participants in all areas at all times. Waiting lists may exist. 

Services Provided in Adult Day Care

  • Group Meals
  • Supervision
  • Recreational Activities
  • Medication Reminders
  • Personal Care
  • Exercise Activities 
  • Social Interaction
  • Respite for Primary Caregivers (This allows caregivers a break from their caregiving duties)

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How to Apply / Learn More

A list of licensed adult day care centers is available for download here. Prior to beginning the application process, it is recommended that one check this list to ensure an adult day care facility is available in their preferred geographic area.

To apply, one should contact their local Tennessee Area Agencies on Aging and Disability.

For additional information about the Adult Day Care program, click here