Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The role of adult day health care (ADHC) is gaining increased attention as the nation prepares for the large cohort of baby boomers entering their later years. Many boomers are aging with physical and cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Projections indicate that Massachusetts, along with the nation as a whole, is experiencing an increasing rate of older persons as baby boomers enter late-life. The Commonwealth can expect that persons with Alzheimer's disease and their care partners will need community-based services that are specifically designed for adults with cognitive impairments. However, a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that there is a serious lack of adult day care services for the state's elderly population. The 2003 report found that Massachusetts is only meeting 62% of needs for adults with physical and cognitive impairments, and at least 78 more programs are needed in the state. Yet, programs in Massachusetts continue to close.

The specific objectives of the study were to: (1) describe existing practices of adult day health care services in Massachusetts for persons living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, (2) explore programs that are specifically designed for participants who are in late-stage dementia, (3) address challenges that adult day health care services are now encountering, and (4) envision new paradigms for meeting the needs of persons with early-stage and early-onset dementia.


In Partnership with: Alzheimer’s Association-MA/NH Chapter and Massachusetts Adult Day Services Association.



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