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Awareness among community-dwelling elderly of assistive devices for mobility and self-care and attitudes towards their use

Social Science & Medicine

Author: Roelands, M. , Van Oost, P. , Buysse, A., Depoorter, A.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2002


The researchers conducted a survey by personal interview of elderly people (75+years) receiving home nursing (N=117) in Belgium to investigate the extent of their awareness and perceptions of the existing supply of assistive devices for mobility and selfcare (ADs). A new scale has been developed to measure the possession and the awareness of ADs, the Assistive Devices Awareness Scale. The researchers identified important gaps regarding the awareness of ADs, despite their widespread usefulness and their commercial availability. Even persons with specific disabilities were not necessarily aware of the ADs available to assist with their particular problems. Nevertheless, the elderly persons presented positive attitudes regarding the possibility of using devices as a partial substitute for care and advocated participation in financing the purchase of ADs. Opinions regarding the effect of using ADs on feelings of loneliness differed quite extensively. Most people who were receiving home nursing already possessed ADs. These elderly people perceived mainly positive consequences from using the ADs they already possessed. Linear forward regression analysis revealed that for the elderly clients of home nursing services, the possession of devices is correlated with the extent to which there is a growing need for care, people are aware of the existing devices and people perceive the consequences of using ADs as positive. Implications for future research are discussed.

Further Details

Full Title: Social Science & Medicine
Pages: 11
Volume: 54
Issue: 9
Edition: 25 March 2002
Section: 1441
Accession Number: November, 2010
Research Notes: Electronic copy added 17/07/2013
Keywords: EuropeBelgiumAssistive deviceAttitudeawarenessolderCareSelf care
Reads: 156