Dementia day programmes in the community: A New Zealand case study update

Annie Weir


Globally dementia day programmes play an increasingly important role in supporting the wellbeing of both older people living at home with dementia and their caregivers. Typically day programmes provide psychosocial and/or physical health functioning benefits to members, as well as respite for caregivers. To ensure day programmes deliver on these aspirations, service providers regularly review services offered to older people. This article provides an update on the outcomes of the original New Zealand small-scale pilot case study aimed at investigating the elements that make up an effective client-focused dementia day programme.  The study also focused on methods employed to measure the quality of outcomes of day programmes. 

The original research reported in 2015 utilising mixed methods revealed that effective day programmes comprised five core elements: 1) activities aimed at improving client functioning 2) caregiver benefits 3) workforce capability 4) cultural responsiveness 5) service processes. Reporting and auditing processes as well as surveys are reportedly used as methods to measure the quality of outcomes of day programmes.

In 2017 follow-up semi-structured interviews were undertaken with several key stakeholders from the service provider to determine the progress that had been made in relation to the five core elements and their relevance to future planning. Interviews also focused on how they were measuring the quality of their day programmes.   The findings highlight successes and challenges around implementing the five core elements that constitute effective day programmes and may inform debate internationally and lead to better outcomes for both those living with dementia and their caregivers.


community-based day programmes; dementia; client-focused; outcome measures

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