Professionals and Practitioners

Older people’s Day Opportunities

We asked for your views on what Day Opportunities in Hampshire should look like in the future. We wanted to find out if we needed to do things differently or improve existing services. We wanted to make sure the needs of more people were met, in a more efficient way.

Between September and November 2013, we visited various older people’s groups and day centres to gather people’s views. People also give us their views by filling in our questionnaire.

About Day Opportunities

Day Opportunities are services for older people aged 65 and over who are eligible for support from Adult Services. They give people something to do during the day. Day Opportunities have been traditionally based in day centres. They have been focused on improving quality of life by providing opportunities for people to socialise and giving respite to carers. With increasing focus on promoting independence, they usually also provide activities to maintain mind and body. They often give out information and advice. Some also aim to help people ‘back on their feet’ after an illness.

We know Day Opportunities are very important - evidence shows that participation in physical, leisure and social activities improves older people’s lives.

In Hampshire, Day Opportunities available for older people who are eligible for support from Adult Services include:

  • Numerous day centres for older people run by organisations including Age Concern Hampshire, One Community, and Mind, amongst others. They are located in various places including purpose-built facilities, Hampshire County Council buildings, community centres, schools, sports and social clubs, village halls, sheltered housing, care homes and hospitals

  • 7 Day Services run by Hampshire County Council

  • Direct Payments whereby people can purchase the Day Opportunities of their choice e.g. time at a day centre of their choice, sports and leisure, a personal assistant to take them, out, etc

Research suggests that many older people do not want to manage Direct Payments. It also suggests that, though mainstream day centres for older people are attractive to many people and meet their needs, they are not considered as an appropriate option by many people, especially men. We know that some people, e.g. some people from certain Black and Minority Ethnic groups, would prefer to use services targeted at them rather than mainstream day services. We need to find out how can we make sure we offer the right range of opportunities so the needs of all eligible older people are better met in Hampshire.