Understanding Adult Day Health Care

SteppingStone’s innovative model of Adult Day Health Care provides the care many adults need to continue to live independently, at home, and at a cost far below other alternatives.

You probably wonder how we do this. Here are the answers to the questions most people ask.


General FAQs

 Why Choose SteppingStone?

Here at SteppingStone, our goal is to foster your family member’s independence and to improve their quality of life and well-being – at a fraction of the cost of in-home care. 

Our highly-skilled and culturally competent Adult Day Health Care staff members are recognized for their expertise and their ability to make all families feel welcome. We offer a wide variety of physically and mentally stimulating activities, a culturally diverse community of peers, and we provide each participant with an individualized care plan to improve his or her health, well-being and independence. 

Your family member will feel secure and comfortable, and you will know they are receiving the care they need to continue to live independently – no matter which center you choose.


 What is Adult Day Health Care (ADHC)?

Adult Day Health Care programs like SteppingStone’s, offer a safe, positive, caring alternative to nursing home care for those who do not need 24-hour skilled nursing. ADHC programs are designed to help people stay mentally and physically active, reduce isolation, improve their health, and prevent decline of their abilities. Further, ADHC is a community-based model that supports families by providing a variety of social and health services to the person needing assistance.

Your family doctor may recommend an ADHC program for important services such as blood pressure and insulin monitoring, medication reminders, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy. To monitor your family member’s progress, a registered nurse will be on duty at all four SteppingStone ADHC locations:  MabiniPresentationGolden Gate and Mission Creek.


 How much does this cost? Who pays?

SteppingStone costs only a fraction of what you’d pay for a skilled nursing facility or home health aide - the savings are often as much as two-thirds!

SteppingStone services are covered by MediCal. If you aren’t covered by MediCal, we offer a daily fee option for private pay clients.

 Who do I contact at SteppingStone to arrange visits or get questions answered?

The Social Workers at each of our Center locations are available to answer any of your questions.


Caregiver FAQs

 How can I encourage my family member to attend an ADHC?

For more than 25 years, SteppingStone has continued to provide a warm, friendly community staffed by experienced care providers. We maintain a casual, relaxed environment with ongoing cultural activities that appeal to our diverse population. Many participants develop friendships within a week or two.

While the adjustment period may be challenging for some, in the long run the program is beneficial for both the member and the caregiver. Ideally, we think it is best to strongly encourage your family member to give the program a try. It is best to minimize or eliminate their choice to not attend the program. Let them know that if they choose not to come, their friends and staff will miss both their presence and help within the community.

Your family member will be welcomed immediately upon visiting one of our centers. We’re looking forward to meeting you.

To get started, Contact Us


 What will our family experience during an initial visit?

First, it’s a good idea to schedule your initial visit by making an appointment. When making your appointment, we encourage you to ask about the current activities at the location you will be visiting. For example, if your family member is a musician, schedule the first visit during music therapy or a group sing-a-long. It’s important for your family member to see their interests in action to make them feel both comfortable and excited about becoming a part of our community. Take the time to find the right activity that will engage your family member.

Upon arriving at one of our locations, you’ll be welcomed by a Program Director or qualified staff member who will give you and your family a full tour of the Center.

The best times to take a tour of any our programs are from 10:00am - Noon or from 1:00pm - 2:00pm, Monday through Friday. Please call the program closest to you for more details.

To schedule a visit call 415.974.6784.


 What if I feel uncomfortable seeking outside care for my parent?

You are not alone. Most people feel a bit uncomfortable seeking outside care until they are introduced to SteppingStone’s wonderful ADHC community of caregivers.

Remember, it’s important for family members to have some respite (time for yourself). Many times family caregivers will mistakenly sacrifice themselves by keeping their relative at home because Mom or Dad makes the statement, “I don’t feel like going today.”

This is where SteppingStone can provide you a break. Once your family member becomes familiar with and accustomed to the program, they will look forward to their days at the Center.

Have confidence that you are “doing the right thing” by helping your family member remain independent, engaged in activities, and developing and nurturing relationships with their peers.


 Will SteppingStone accept people with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

SteppingStone offers a skilled and compassionate program which allows adults and elders with memory impairment (such as early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia) to participate. Many studies have shown that Adult Day Health Care services offer the best approach, both for the caregiver and for the person living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.


 Can a participant who uses a walker or wheelchair attend a program?

Yes. Many people use walkers or canes — so your loved one will fit right in.

All staff members are capable of assisting participants so that they can enjoy the Adult Day Health Care program and its activities safely without any embarrassment. Transportation can also be provided. During your visit, please let us know what your family’s needs are so that we can create the most comfortable experience possible.


 What types of activities can I expect at SteppingStone?

We offer a variety of activities that appeal to our broad community. All individual and group activities are designed for enjoyment and engagement.

Many activities are designed to encourage participation, allowing your loved one to feel welcome as they join SteppingStone’s caring community. Some of these include art, dance, music therapy, Tai Chi, Yoga, Bingo, stimulating word games, and sharing life experiences and memories. There are also multicultural celebrations, which include Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, Valentine’s Day and Christmas to name just a few.

We also offer carefully supervised exercise and physical therapy, which allows seniors to regain strength and become more independent.

Special programs devoted to dance, music, and story-telling enrich and enliven participants who come from places from around the globe, including China, Latin America, Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Japan and Africa.


 What about people who do not speak English?

At SteppingStone, we pride ourselves in having a multi-lingual and multi-cultural staff who represent the rich diversity of the community that we serve, While other ADHC programs in San Francisco may specialize in one culture, we represent cultures from around the world—notably China, Korea, Japan, Russia, Vietnam, Mexico, Pakistan, India, Laotia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and Europe.

In almost every center you’ll hear Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Filipino, Russian and other languages spoken in the same breath as English.


 Are there funds available to help low-income participants?

Yes! Our services are covered by Medi-Cal. If you are a Medi-Cal recipient referred by a physician, you (or your family member) can participate in Adult Day Health Care at no cost.

If you do not have Medi-Cal assistance, we offer a private payment option.

Adult Day Health Care fees may also be covered by the Veterans Administration and some long-term insurance providers.


Referrer FAQs

 How can I refer a client to SteppingStone?

We can help you choose the best center for your client and help you with the enrollment process. Please call Sara Vega, Social Work Assistant, at (415) 974-6784 ext. 23 or send us a request by email.


 What medical services or therapies do you offer participants?

Key services include (but are not limited to): Personal Care, Nursing, Podiatry, Nutritional counseling and physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

Here at SteppingStone, our philosophy is in keeping with current mind/body therapeutic approaches. All clients are encouraged to stretch their minds and their bodies!

We believe in providing services that are varied and adapted to the needs of our participants. Our staff are trained to provide a wide range of safe and beneficial exercise routines, from physical therapy to more gentle activities such as guided walks, gardening, Tai Chi and Yoga.

Visit our Services page to get inspired!


 How do you measure each client’s progress? Do you report results to physicians?

Yes. We keep detailed records on each member. Our multi-disciplinary team monitors progress over time and many of our success stories demonstrate amazing results from our ADHC program.

More importantly, our staff of highly trained professionals is devoted to ensuring that each participant gets the richest and most satisfying experience from his or her time with us. Our goal is to give them a good day, every day.


Benefactor FAQs

 How do I make a tax-deductible donation? Can I submit it online?

Yes. In fact, many of our donors prefer to contribute online. Your transaction will be securely processed through the Network for Good Donor Advised Fund. And, don’t forget to ask your employer if they have a matching gifts program. We will handle all of the paperwork!

In addition to making a monetary donation, there are a number of different ways you can contribute to SteppingStone. Examples include donating appreciated stock, a vehicle, computer equipment, or even sponsoring or hosting an event. Visit our Donations page for more information...Why not make a donation right now?


 If I contribute by check, which location do I mail it to?

Please send your contribution to our Administrative Headquarters located at our Mission Creek Center. Checks should be made out to SteppingStone. Be sure to include your name and return address, so that we can acknowledge your contribution and provide you with a receipt for your tax records.


 I’ve always wanted to volunteer. How can I help?

Your help is equally important to both our staff and participants, who enjoy meeting new people. We welcome all ages!

As a first step, a staff member will speak with you regarding your interests, goals and skills. SteppingStone volunteers will then receive an orientation and training session before volunteering.

As a volunteer, you can assist with fundraising and events or you can spend time with our seniors during our daily activities. Our seniors always enjoy a game of Mah Jong or Bingo—in addition to special downtown outings in San Francisco.