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Some people who live independently with some help like to get out and meet others in similar situations.

Day centres can help them to do this and get the most out of life.

They are informal, friendly and safe and open to a variety of people with care and support needs.

Why use a day centre? 

Day centres can:

  • allow you to take part in various activities such as crafts and hobbies, games, outings and entertainment
  • allow you to make friends and develop relationships
  • give carers or family a break from caring and take some time for their own interests
  • provide gentle exercise and help with mobility
  • give advice on independent living. They can help you gain practical skills such as cooking and laundry. You can also try out equipment to help with daily tasks
  • usually provide light refreshments such as tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits and sometimes a cooked lunch
  • sometimes offer training or work projects for people with disabilities.
  • help those recovering from illnesses such as a stroke.
  • let people contribute to their community

Choose a day centre

There are a variety of voluntary and private centres across Dorset. They are run by qualified and experienced staff. 

Any centres staffed by registered nurses or offering treatment for medical conditions must be registered with the Care Quality Commission. They have to meet standards and be inspected. To check, search by the name of the service on the Care Quality Commission's website.

Day centres run by charities or other independent organisations may or may not be registered with the Care Quality Commission. This depends on what they provide.

They should in all cases be able to tell you about their quality checks and share feedback from people who have used them.

Find out if a day centre is for you

To go to a day centre, first get Dorset Council to look at your care needs. Find out how to do this by reading about Early Help and Assessment.

Eligible for help from adult care? Use your personal budget to take part in our day activities. Learn how at Planning for your future care.

Pay to go to a day centre

You can go to a day centre privately.

If you go privately, you don't need to speak to Dorset Council first. There are 3 private rates: low, medium and high. 

Or you can go to a day centre as a 'self-funder' who gets reduced rates. To get these, first get a care needs assessment.

Find a day centre in Dorset

Age UK's day centres aim to improve older people's lives. They do this by helping them to be independent and meet other people. See Age UK day centres 

Tricuro's day centres offer a range of activities and support. They are designed to keep people healthy and well for as long as possible.

They are open to all adults of all ages and including people with disabilities, with facilities that can be accessed by everyone. See Tricuro's day services 

Learn more about arranging day care

Which? has advice on how to arrange day care and checklists of everything you need to think about. They also have a directory of groups for people living with dementia.

Read the Which? day care centres information and guidance

Find out about other day activities

Look at all the day activities there are in Dorset for people with care needs. There are lunch clubs, day activities, men sheds, music groups and other activities and support groups  in our community directory.

Picnic in the Parks

Picnic in the Parks, a popular event in Dorset, has moved online and is full of ideas for you to enjoy nature and get active. Nature activities can boost your mood and are a motivation to get active!

Use the interactive map to find out how to get more active and involved in your community. You can even find walks on your doorstep.

Picnic in the Parks is created by Stepping into Nature, Natural Choices and Active Dorset, local organisations and community groups.

Stepping into Nature

Stepping into Nature offers activities about nature, both indoors and out. They help people find new places to go, learn new skills and meet like-minded people. 

Anyone can take part, especially older adults and those living with conditions such as dementia and their care partners. It is led by the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Countrymen UK

Countrymen UK provides therapeutic services in the countryside and gardens. They are for men with long-term health conditions such as dementia and Parkinson's.

They aim to keep men active and stimulated, meeting men their age and living as independently as possible. Most members have a background in farming or working outside. Others simply love of the countryside.