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De-institutionalization and ageing: some results from monitoring the effects in an area-based system of long-term care

Health & Social Care in the Community

Author: Lagergren, M.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1994


This paper illustrates the usefulness of regular monitoring for an area-based system of long-term care for elderly people and people with a disability by presenting data which describe the combined effects of de-institutionalization and population ageing. Data were collected between 1985 and 1989 in Solna, Sweden by means of annual surveys involving registration of received services and assessment of needs and disability. The sample, (n = 2026 year 1, n = 1755 year 5), were all the residents of Solna, who, on the day of the survey, were in receipt of long-term public medical and/or social services care from the public sector. Data were collected on demographic variables, actual and appropriate levels of care. The class of disability was based upon five different measures of disability. The number of long-term care hospital and nursing home beds were reduced by 23% whilst the number of people aged over 85 in the area increased by 31%. This development had effects on all levels of care. Actual development of resources fell short of those projected according to population trends, by 15-35% depending on level of care. The proportion of clients, who were "under-served", in the sense that they received a lower level of care than assessed as appropriate by the responsible staff, more than doubled during the period -- increasing from 10 (n = 2026) to 21% (n = 1755). Domiciliary services were actually reduced and concentrated on fewer clients with more severe disabilities. There was a general increase in the prevalence and severity of disability in all levels of care except sheltered housing. Incontinence showed the most rapid increase. The findings of this study demonstrate the importance of providing decision-makers with quantitative data which reflect trends in population needs.

Further Details

Full Title: Health & Social Care in the Community
Pages: 19-30
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Accession Number: 20.5.03
Keywords: older, mobility
Reads: 181