Despite the existence of substantial research on physical environment of long-term care facilities, there is a scarcity of empirical research on the physical environment of community-based programs such as adult day centres. In particular, there is limited evidence on the role of environmental design of those settings in supporting (or hindering) the needs of older persons with dementia. This study explores the effect of physical and social environments of adult day program setting on clients’ activities and well-being in the context of purpose-built versus non-purpose-built facilities. A mixed-method approach was used that included: physical environmental assessment, in-depth interviews with staff members and ethnographic observations. Four themes emerged: ‘Design Matters’, ‘Social Connectedness’, ‘Staying Active’, and, ‘Community-based Health Services’. The findings demonstrate the need for adult day programs’ integrated and restorative services, which provide appropriate care and social contact for frail older adults, thereby fostering independence and healthy living.
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Thesis advisor: Chaudhury, Habib
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