Thousands of older Massachusetts residents, many with dementia, receive health care and participate in social activities in adult day programs that are not licensed and routinely inspected, but proposed rules unveiled by state regulators Wednesday would change that.
The rules would require that such programs be inspected every other year by the state Department of Public Health and mandate minimum staffing levels, infection control measures such as showers and hand-washing stations, and separate spaces to provide activities for those with advanced dementia.
“This is a community-based service, and we believe these regulations can represent a potential quality improvement . . . preventing hospitalization and extending the time before it’s necessary to institutionalize folks from the community,” said Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, director of the state Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.