Day hospices or day-care centres are spaces in hospitals, hospices, PCUs or the community especially designed to promote recreational and therapeutic activities
among palliative care patients.
Patients usually spend part of the day in the day-care centre, either each day or once weekly.
Day hospices focus on creative living and social care, offering patients the opportunity to participate in various activities during the daytime outside their familiar surroundings.
Formal medical consultations are not usually part of routine day care, but, in some day-care centres, patients may have some treatments, such as a blood transfusion or a course of chemotherapy, while at the centre.
A mid-range prediction of the demand for palliative care services has recommended a catchment area of 150,000 inhabitants for one day-care centre.
A day-care centre is staffed by a multiprofessional team supplemented by voluntary workers. It is recommended that there are two nurses present during opening hours, with at least one specialist palliative
care nurse for every seven daily attendees. A qualified physician should be directly accessible in case of need. Ready access to other professionals, such as physiotherapists, social workers or spiritual care workers, should be obtained.
A day-care centre is supposed to have patient rooms, a therapy room, staff rooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a recreation room.
All rooms should have access for people with disabilities.
A day-care centre should provide a homelike atmosphere. Patient rooms should be equipped comfortably and suitable for multifunctional use. The centre is an autonomous organisational unit with at least six places and may be associated with an inpatient hospice or palliative care unit.
Radbruch L, Payne S and the Board of Directors of the EAPC. EAPC update. White Paper on standards and norms for hospice and palliative care in Europe: part 2. European Journal of Palliative Care, 2009; 16(6)