Adult Daycare Facilities | Zoning & Planning | Cuddy & Feder
Adult Daycare Facilities | Zoning & Planning | Cuddy & Feder

For the past several decades, an active topic of discussion amongst planners has been the impending effects on communities as the United States’ aging population (largely comprised of the Baby Boomers) sharply increases.1 By 2050, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double its estimated population of 43.1 million in 2012).2

Access to adult daycare integrates seamlessly into today’s vision of where people want to live and work; in denser, walkable neighborhoods, connected to transit, with a rich variety of integrated residential, retail, and office uses. Imagine living in a community where you can walk your elderly parent, who lives at home with you and your family, to an adult daycare facility on your way to work in the morning.

One side effect of the exponential growth in the aged population is an increased need for elder care, including the “adult daycare” facility. Sometimes stand-alone, and other times incorporated into existing adult care facilities (such as nursing homes), these facilities provide a safe space for older adults to receive supervised care while simultaneously enjoying the companionship of other seniors. The general goals of these facilities are to delay or prevent institutionalization and encourage socialization.3 Facilities can offer either “social” or “health” daycare; “social” daycare provides social activities, meals, recreation, and some limited health care services, while “health” daycare offers a more in-depth range of medical and social services for seniors with more serious health conditions.4 The programs are ideal for elderly persons who require some supervision but not full-time care, and allow family member caretakers to still go to work during the day.

Adult daycares integrate seamlessly into today’s vision of where people want to live and work; in denser, walkable neighborhoods, connected to transit, with a rich variety of integrated residential, retail, and office uses. Imagine living in a community where you can walk your elderly parent, who lives at home with you and your family, to an adult daycare facility on your way to work in the morning. Because of the daycare center’s close proximity to both your home and office, you are relieved of the stress and costs associated with facing the difficult choice between staying home with your parent, having to hire expensive home care, or placing your parent in a faraway full-time care facility. At the same time, because of the daycare’s central location to transit and a variety of shops and restaurants, your parent can still enjoy a high quality of life and engage in a variety of enriching social activities with other seniors.

Currently, as is often the case when a novel land use begins to enjoy increased popularity, local zoning codes are not uniformly prepared to regulate these new facilities. As local governments update their comprehensive plans, they should consider the important place such facilities have in creating diverse, integrated communities. Likewise, municipalities should also ensure their zoning codes are amended to reflect this commitment toward inclusivity. This is the first step toward providing a clear path for developers, business owners, and non-profit organizations to bring these much-needed facilities to a wider range of localities across New York.

  1. Jennifer M. Ortman, Victoria A. Velkoff, and Howard Hogan, An Aging Population: The Older Population In the United States (May 2014)
  2. Id.
  3. U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Adult Daycare
  4. Id.
Authors
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