Margit Gausdal Strandenæs et al. | Experiences of attending day care services designed for people with dementia – a qualitative study with individual interviews | Aging and Mental Health | Published online 27th March 2017
Objectives: Day care is assumed to promote independence in home-dwelling people with dementia, increase well-being and enhance social stimulation. Few studies have directly engaged people with dementia to better understand the benefits and impacts of such services. The aim of this study was to explore attendees’ experiences with day care designed for people with dementia.
Method: This study had a qualitative descriptive design and included individual interviews with 17 users attending day care. The analysis was undertaken using content analyses.
Results: The participants reported that day care had a positive influence on their physical functioning, cognition, well-being, and situation at home because they were provided with social stimulation, meals, and activities. Day care contributed to the maintenance of a rhythm and structure in everyday life. Furthermore, the staff contributed to making the day care a safe place to be and enhanced a sense of belonging.
Conclusion: This study reveals the positive impact of day care on the daily lives of people with dementia because this service contributes to the enhancement of activities and social support, prevents isolation, and enhances practical and cognitive functioning as experienced by the users. The staff has a major impact on the experience of the participants in the day care.