Moves to replace council-run day centres with community-based services will not involve asking elderly people to sit in shopping centres or coffee bars all day, Birmingham's director of adults and communities has promised.
Peter Hay insisted a move away from traditional day care in favour of closer involvement with the voluntary and private sectors would offer a more flexible service, better able to meet individual needs.
The changes are part of a council strategy to replace 29 old people's homes and 16 day centres with specialist sheltered accommodation and community care services. But Mr Hay stressed the users of council day centres would still have a building which they could treat as a base.
He added: "We are talking about somewhere people can meet. Not hanging around in shopping centres or coffee bars, which I know is what is sometimes meant by day care."
Mr Hay told the cabinet meeting that all existing service users would be offered an updated assessment of their needs. There would be no withdrawal or loss of day services until suitable alternative arrangements could be identified.