Stakeholders’ perspectives on day centres’ policy relevance and priorities in changing contexts of ageing

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Oral presentation at British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference 2022
Day centres’ relevance to care policy in England has been questioned and funding cuts have resulted in closures across England. Yet day centres support the wellbeing of people with social care needs who want to remain at home and their carers. Temporary closure during the Covid-19 pandemic further highlighted their importance, both in England and beyond, with the Social Care White Paper committing to further funding. Lack of regulation and varied typology of day centres mean that they are often ‘invisible’ to planners, funders, and practitioners, and to many gerontologists.

This presentation offers insights into the views and practices of older people’s day centre managers and local authority (LA) employees who see them as part of individual networks of support or as local community assets. 

Data derive from two studies: 1) interviews with LA employees who referred to or commissioned day centre places (n=13) and day centre managers/providers (n=6), in 2014-17 and 2) a 2021 stakeholder engagement exercise that discerned day centre related priority support needs as identified in a 2021 survey of day centre stakeholders in England.

Data for both studies were analysed thematically. In the first, three themes were identified: 1) Perceptions and actions: policy and practice, 2) Change, and 3) The present and the future. Related to these themes, the survey found priority support areas covered sustainability or quality. Findings are synthesised and reported within the context of current practice and social care policy reform.

Presentation within a symposium entitled "What role does day care play and can we reimagine?" that included four papers, each exploring the place of day care provision for older people in the current landscape of social care policy and practice. First, Lauren Parker and Joseph Gaugler (John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health & University of Minnesota) demonstrated the value of day centres, sharing findings from a study exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic forced adult day services (ADS) across the United States to close and abruptly end in-person services to clients. Demi Patsios (University of Bristol) presented findings from a secondary analysis of existing data sets to explore trends in provision and uptake of day care services in England. This presentation then followed - covering insights into managers’ and local authority employees’ perspectives of services’ relevance to policy, the need for change followed by day centre related priority support needs identified in a 2021 survey. Finally, Laura Bennet (University of Bristol) presented initial findings from case studies exploring experiences of day care from the perspective of older people, their carers and those who work in or manage services. The paper will highlight innovations in practice that may support a ‘reimaging of day care’.
Period7 Jul 2022
Event titleBritish Society of Gerontology Annual Conference 2022
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • day centre
  • day care
  • older people