Guidelines for Adult Day Care Centers that Specialize in Alzheimer’s

On April 6, 2012, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the “Specialized Alzheimer’s Services Adult Day Care Act,” which provides for new regulations for adult day care centers who specialize in services to Alzheimer’s patients. According to the new Florida Statute Section 429.918, adult day care centers may apply to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to be designated as a Specialized Alzheimer’s Services Adult Day Care Center. This new law is effective as of July 1, 2012.

In order for an adult day care center to obtain this special designation, the facility must meet certain requirements, such as:

• Devise a mission statement that shows a commitment to provide dementia-specific services,

• Provide Alzheimer’s patients with a program that has dementia-specific therapeutic activities, such as physical, cognitive, and social activities that are appropriate for the patient’s age, culture, and level of function,

• Maintain a minimum staff-to-patient ratio of one to five,

• Provide patients with hands-on assistance with activities of daily living,

• Use assessment tools that can identify the patient’s cognitive deficits and identify the needs of the patient and caregiver,

• Create an individualized plan of care for each patient that states the dementia-specific needs of the patient,

• Have a monthly health assessment and monthly update of each patient,

• Be a secured unit or install a working alarm or security device on every door that is accessible to patients,

• Have a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse on site every day for at least 75% of the time,

• Mandate that every employee receive and review basic written information about interacting with the patients, and

• Mandate that every employee who has direct contact with a patient obtain dementia-specific training.

The patients in a Specialized Alzheimer’s Services Adult Day Care Center must meet certain requirements, too, such as:

• The patient must be in need of ongoing supervision,

• Not be aggressive or be a risk to himself or herself or others,

• Provide medical information to the Center about his or her health conditions, medications, diets, restrictions, and

• Be free from Tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

Although the legislature has enacted these new guidelines calling for Specialized Alzheimer’s Services Adult Day Care Centers, patients who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia may still attend an adult day care center that does not have this specialized designation.

This bill should help those who are looking for an Adult Day Care Center for their loved-one with dementia and hopefully increase the quality of the care received by patients with dementia. As always, it is important when looking for an Adult Day Care Center to tour the facilities and investigate the facility. On AHCA website, there is a list of local Adult Day Care Centers, along with details and inspection reports at,

If you have questions about Adult Day Care Centers or how to pay for their services, you can contact us at (239) 939-4888.

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