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Health Bull (Edinb). 1989 May;47(3):141-9.

The functional status of elderly people admitted to a local authority residential home.


One hundred and forty-one consecutive admissions to a large local authority residential home were studied to assess their functional level. Both panel (71) and emergency (70) admissions were assessed. Forty-seven per cent of the panel admissions came from hospital and 39% from home compared with 4% and 83% of the emergency admissions. Severe mental impairment was found in 22% panel admissions and 34% of emergencies. Dementia was the commonest underlying condition. Inability to cope at home was the most common reason for referral in both groups. The activities of daily living (ADL) were assessed where possible on admission and after two to four weeks. No statistically significant change was found in any aspect of ADL between the two assessments although 9% of the panel and 19% of the emergency group were assessed as being unacceptable for residential care in one function. Residents initially showed a high level of negative attitude to the concept of residential care but this lessened over the four weeks. This study has shown that although new residents are suitable on admission to residential care, they are marginally so and are likely to become more dependent. This has future implications for staff levels and training in residential homes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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