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Volunteers in Adult Day Care are Vital

Do you have special training or skills that you'd love to share with others, especially older adults and persons living with a disability?

Do you feel passionate about your work and love passing on what you know?

If you're outgoing and friendly and enjoy teaching and sharing with others, then you might be a great fit as a volunteer in the adult day care sector.

Millions of men and women, like you, have found meaningful ways to give back. Discover how you can better lives while feeding your passions through volunteering at adult day care facilities.


Adult day care centers have a lower need for medical care services than nursing homes, so they can afford to pay for a full-time staff. Participants in adult day centers, without needs for day health, do not require the same level of assistance as those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Most clients in 'regular' day service programs are at a high level of physical and mental ability. Adult day health is slightly different, as these deliver medical services and have little need for volunteer opportunities.

There are many opportunities for volunteers and the day care staff and participants appreciate the time and effort given.

Volunteers are a part of the services provided to participants at centers and to their caregivers.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers Enhance Lives
Volunteers Enhance Lives
Special Events

Be apart of the fun planning and helping out at special events like senior prom, the Senior or Special Olympics, or other community events for older adults and adults with special needs. Hours are flexible.

Art Volunteer:

Assist staff or lead small groups or one-on-one art activities and classes. You'll be part of the planning, organizing, and implementing art projects. You volunteer one to two times each month, with clients at the day center who attend the art programs.

Art Projects include:

  • Water or acrylic painting
  • Working with clay
  • Wood working
  • Photography
  • Other mediums

Inter-generational Volunteers

Love children? Volunteers involve children accompanied by adults; to participate in programs like pet therapy, arts and crafts, music or exercise! Create sing-a-long shows and get the children and participants singing songs from the past.

Children love books - have adult day care participants read books to children and make the stories come alive through acting.

Program Assistant Volunteer

Volunteers help the Activities Director to get participants involved and engaged in the fun and social activities. The position offers a form of companionship to the participants attending day care. You work one-on-one with an individual or with the group. Other tasks that a program assistant conducts:

  • Break-out group activities
  • Lead exercises
  • Cooking classes
  • Help in meal preparation
  • Discuss news and day's events
  • Educational classes
  • Computer activities

Entertainment Volunteers

Volunteers share talents like playing musical instruments, singing, story telling, painting, writing, and performing arts.

Clerical Volunteers

Volunteers assist administration and staff with answering the phone, making copies, collating training books, organizing the office, and entering computer data and uploading marketing information.

Devotions Volunteer

Volunteers lead spiritual discussion and prayer groups by reading stories, scripture and singing hymns with the participants.

One on One Participant Volunteers

Volunteers work with participants with special needs who require one-on-one attention because of a disability or impairment.

Volunteers take a participant outside for a walk in the park, for conversation, or reading a book. It's a time that the participant receives special attention.

Gardening Volunteers

Volunteers lead activities in gardening, arranging flowers, creating dried flower arrangements, small pot herb gardens, armchair garden tours.

Pet Therapy Volunteers

Volunteers bring their pets to the adult day care center so the participants can enjoy holding or playing with the dog.

The volunteer encourages participants to share stories about their former pet loved ones and to reminisce about them.

Dance and Movement Volunteers

Volunteers work with small groups of participants doing simple movement exercises.

Yoga Volunteers

Volunteers work with small groups of participants doing chair yoga.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Community organizations often band together to create gardens for day centers. From flowers to vegetables, these gardens are useful not only for the day center clients, but also for the community. Volunteers are also used on day trips and in day-to-day activities.

Work at an Adult day care

One way to get a jump-start on understanding what it's like to work as a caregiver, is volunteer at the center. It's a great way to "test" run working with adults before getting a full or part-time job.

People that wish to have a career in health care, such as certified nurse assistant or nursing, should find a way to volunteer in day centers. These experiences help people get a good handle on how demanding healthcare is and how fulfilling it is.

Day Care centers for adults have a wide range of clients, from young disabled clients to the elderly.

Adult day care is different from the day care like ones for children.

Adult day care centers provide respite to family caregivers and clients, who are the patrons of adult centers. They're called clients or participants, not patients or residents. It's a favored term for both older adults and those living with disabilities. It's not just a term used to re-name them; it's a mark of respect.

Today, client and participants have rights too, like patients and residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They receive more respect than ever and their quality of life is markedly improved.

For information on how to volunteer, interested parties can contact local community centers, social service departments, religious organizations, and day care centers listed in our adult day care directory directly.

These available programs equipped to give information on where and how to volunteers can help the elderly and the disabled. If no information or opportunities are available, there is always room for a new community organization that combines the interests of like-minded people.

Volunteers are needed in adult day care centers. When you volunteer, you're helping older adults remain in their own home for as long as possible. Plus you help the centers carry-out their mission.

The return you receive from helping will enrich your life.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.