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Day opportunities and day care

What are day opportunities?

Day opportunities aim to support you with maintaining independence, inclusion in local community life and personal development.

Day opportunities allow you to continue to live in your own home whilst supporting you to access activities provided in the community during the day. They offer you the chance to meet new people and socialise, learn new skills so you can remain as independent as possible or even help you into education, employment, or housing.

The services support people with different needs, from low level support for example how to manage your finances or complete household tasks through to supporting people with higher dependency needs such as behaviours that challenge or health needs.

You can use your individual interests and preferences to design your day opportunities, making sure they are flexible to meet your needs.

What day opportunities are available?

The activities offered to you are targeted to achieve your personal objectives, for example, help with learning how to travel on public transport confidently, help with learning how to cook healthy meals or support to access leisure facilities to stay active and improve mental wellbeing.

Some services may be provided in buildings that are set up for people who need support with their personal care, and need access to facilities that keep them safe, whilst other activities at day opportunities could be community-based, which could be provided through groups with a specific aim, for example lunch clubs, to keep in touch with friends or build new friendship groups.

The day service staff will monitor and review your progress against your objectives to make sure activities continue to meet your needs.

They will work closely with you to find out what you want to do and then support you to do it. You could choose to take part and enjoy lots of different things that could include: 

  • Seeing friends or making new friendships so you do not feel isolated or lonely
  • Going to cultural/faith-based activities so you can join in and be part of your local community
  • Learning new skills so you can stay independent for longer or become more independent
  • Going to leisure facilities like the gym or joining a walking group to keep healthy and learn more about healthy lifestyles and improving mental wellbeing
  • Go on day trips so you can see new places, experience new things, and relax
  • Go to social groups or clubs so you can socialise with your friends, or make new friends with similar interests
  • Try new hobbies like arts and crafts, nature or sports
  • Explore being a volunteer or going to work so you can be more independent
  • Taking part in education/adult learning so you can learn new things, learn more or try something new that you have an interest in
  • Visiting cafes and restaurants so you can socialise, meet friends and maybe even learn more about healthy eating choices and budgeting.

Going shopping so you can buy food, clothes or household products so you can become or stay independent in your own home and maybe even learn new travel skills so you can safely get about more easily by bus or train. All of these activities will enable you to keep or build good links with your local community and support you to be as independent as possible. 

Are there any in my local area?

If you are looking for activities to do in the daytime, evenings and at weekends take a look at our local directory, known as Staffordshire Connects.

You can also find a list of organisations who offer day opportunities and activities. 

If you are under 25, and have learning disabilities, SEND Local Offer can provide you with all the information and advice you need to know.

What is day care?

Day care supports adults in need of extra care or support with higher dependency needs. This includes people with learning disabilities, mental health issues, autism, acquired brain injuries, long-term health condition, older people, people with dementia, physical disabilities, sensory impairment, and behaviours that challenge.

Day care offers meaningful activities that provide entertainment, social opportunities, and the chance to learn new skills. 

Adult day care usually takes place in either a resource centre, community building or within a residential care home. It could also be held in another public space, such as a village hall, leisure centre or café. People can attend independently or with the support from a carer. Day care also enables respite for people who care for a loved one.

Each adult day care service will have a programme of planned activities that are designed to be stimulating and entertaining. The activities available differ depending on the service you go to and the needs of the people attending. Day care for older people will have different activities to care for young adults with learning disabilities.

Day care services are run by professional caring staff who provide a range of different activities to take part in and could include:

  • Arts and crafts - as well as drawing and painting, some groups have activities such as pottery painting, basket weaving or jewellery making.
  • Games - games can range from cards and board games to sports to games designed for people with additional needs, such as Tovertafel magic dementia tables.
  • Sensory activities – these are particularly beneficial for people with autism or sensory impairment. Many centres have sensory rooms, that include LED lights, calming music and even smells. Animal therapy is an oft-used sensory activity as people with visual or auditory impairment can feel animals’ fur or scales. Many day care centres book mobile zoos for this, allowing day care visitors to interact with animals from alpacas to lizards to giant snails.
  • Health - people can receive healthcare support in day care, such as visiting chiropodists, physiotherapists, or hairdressers.
  • Day trips - outings can include trips to local towns and tourist attractions, beaches, zoos or theatre shows. Sometimes there are some extra charges for the costs of additional transport and tickets for shows.
  • Life skills - or independent living training provided for people with learning disabilities can include activities that teach valuable skills such as using public transport, shopping, and managing money, staying healthy with nutritious cooking and visits to the gym, household skills and social skills.
  • Lunch clubs - lunch clubs offer social opportunities for people of all ages. These clubs provide lunch in a restaurant, café or as a buffet, with some offering quizzes and seasonal events.

If activities aren't your thing, you could spend time socialising with other people who go to the day care service or just enjoy relaxing in a different environment from your home. Hot meal and drinks are usually provided during the day.


Many services can offer personal care, which includes support with going to the toilet, eating and drinking, taking your medication or even assisted bathing.

In all cases, day care should be stimulating and meet both your physical and mental needs.

Are there any in my local area?

You can find day centres by either:

How can I pay for day opportunities and day care?

If we assess you as having eligible care needs, we will work with you and your carers to draw up a care and support plan. This will be based on what 'outcomes' you would like to achieve. For example, you may wish to make use of facilities in the local community and meet new people.

If you are eligible to receive financial support from us, your social care contact will help you with: 

  • applying for day opportunities or day care
  • working out how much you need to pay
  • using your personal budget to pay for this

Personal budgets and direct payments can help give you more choice and more say about how you can meet your needs through day opportunities.

If you aren't eligible for financial support, you can still access and pay for day opportunities or day care.

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