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Ir Med J. 2000 Oct;93(7):208-11.

Adult service refusers in the greater Dublin area.

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Eastern Health Board, Tivoli Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.


The reclusive behaviour and living conditions of people living in the community can be a source of concern to others, especially when statutory and voluntary support are refused. A cross-sectional observational study of service providers was carried out to profile 'service refusers' in the greater Dublin area and to describe the support offered. Two hundred and thirty three subjects were identified. Most were female (127, 54.5%) and 65 years of age or older (162, 69.5%). Approximately 50% (117, 50.2%) were living in private accommodation. The majority of subjects were considered to exhibit traits of poor personal hygiene (171, 73.4%), suspiciousness (160, 68.7%), secrecy (144, 61.8%) or hoarding (126, 54.1%). Forty-seven per cent of subjects (110) identified met the criteria for 'Diogenes Syndrome'. A wide variety supports had been offered including meals-on-wheels, home-helps and house cleaning. Respondents considered that 51.9% (121) of subjects had not been offered a service which proved successful. Despite the best efforts of agencies, service refusers can remain steadfast in not availing of the help that is on offer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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