Objective: To examine the effects of Day Care (DC) on demented patients.
Design: A prospective non-randomized concurrent-control study.
Participants: 55 demented patients in DC and 44 controls.
Setting: Sundsvall, an industrial community in northern Sweden.
Main outcome measure: Cognition, ADL-functions, behaviour and institutionalization.
Results: Measurements of cognition, ADL-functions, and behaviour showed no or only small differences between the groups. After one year, 24% of the patients in the DC-group were institutionalized, compared with 44% of the controls. In the control group, the exhaustion of spouse and supervision need were highly correlated to institutionalization (p < 0.001), while high physical nursing load was correlated to institutionalization in the DC-group (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: DC postpones institutionalization, probably because of less exhaustion of spouses and decreased supervision need.