Day care and dementia
SUMMARY Since 1977 it has been possible for nursing hornes in the Netherlands to treat psychogeriatric patients on a day-care basis. By now 116 day-care centres all over the country serve more than 2,600 cognitively impaired elderly clients. The three main objectives of day care are to enhance the patients' physical, cognitive and social abilities, to help the care-givers in looking after the patient and to prevent or defer institutionalization. Studies into the impact of day care on patients and family care-givers have demonstrated that most elderly and their families perceive day care as offering positive benefits. A longitudinal study that followed sixty-six day-care visitors until they died, showed that long-term institutionalization could be avoided for 30 per cent of them.