Impact of Day Care Services on Older People with Multiple Long Term Conditions

North West CoastGeneric Health Relevance
Start Date: 1 Mar 2015


There is a lack of research about day care services. In the UK how day care is funded, provided, accessed and paid for has changed considerably for older people. In many areas services provided by local authorities have been outsourced to charities and voluntary services. It is not known if there is a difference in outcomes for older people by the service type or geographical area (urban or rural) that they attend.

Who was involved

At the start of the project the researcher visited day care services to discuss issues affecting centres and the people that use them, meeting with day care managers and spending time with older people using the services. The information collated at these visits were used to design the objectives for the project, the types of research tools to be used and consider how the project could work on a practical level. 40 day care providers responded to a survey and 7 day care services took part in an exploratory mixed methods study

What did CLAHRC NWC do?

Completed a systematic review of the international literature to examine published research about day care for older people with long term conditions. Conducted a survey about the types of day care services available in the North West Coast area. A mixed methods exploratory study was designed involving seven day care services across nine centres. Observations took place across all centres to understand the services in more detail. 94 older people who were new to day care completed questionnaires when they started and then six and twelve weeks later. 36 older people, carers, staff and volunteers were interviewed about their experiences of day care.


The study found that there was no difference in the number of long term conditions reported by clients using different types of services whether local authorities, charities and voluntary groups. Those attending rural services did report a higher number of long term conditions than those attending urban services. This aspect of the study helped provide greater understanding of the needs that people attending day care have. People using charitable and voluntary services reported better or same health outcomes than those attending paid staff services. The level of loneliness experienced over the first 12 weeks of attendance was twice as likely to reduce for those attending charitable and voluntary services. Observations and interviews with older people suggested that this may have been associated with the types and delivery of activities that people took part in whilst at the centres.

Prof MariLloyd-Williams

Prof Mari Lloyd-Williams