Day hospices or day care centers 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 centers, patients may have some treatments, such as a blood transfusion or a course of chemotherapy, while there.
A mid-range prediction of the demand for palliative care services has recommended a catchment area of 150,000 inhabitants for one day care center.
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, and 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 center should provide a homelike atmosphere. Patient rooms should be equipped comfortably and suitable for multifunctional use. The center 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).