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Disabil Rehabil. 1994 Apr-Jun;16(2):85-92.

Assistive devices in an elderly population studied at 70 and 76 years of age.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Vasa Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


The longitudinal Intervention Study of the Elderly in Göteborg, Sweden (IVEG), has provided an opportunity to report on the use of assistive devices in activities of daily living (ADL) in a subsample of elderly persons living in their own homes, who were interviewed at the ages of 70 and 76 (n = 371). Type, frequency, usage rate and effectiveness of assistive devices was studied among all 76-year-olds involved in the IVEG study (n = 595). One-fifth at the age of 70 and almost half of the population at 76 had assistive devices, most frequently in connection with bathing and mobility. A higher percentage of females and subjects living alone used assistive devices compared to men and cohabitants. The longitudinal study showed that 31% developed a need for assistive devices between 70 and 76 years of age, 15% used assistive devices both at 70 and 76 years, while 50% had no devices at 70 or at 76 years of age. The usage rate was high (90%), and a high degree of effectiveness was found, particularly in the form of an increment in safety and a decrement in effort in the various activities.

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