Use of Assistive Devices -- A Reality Full of Contradictions in Elderly Persons' Everyday LifeBy Häggblom-Kronlöf, Greta; Sonn, Ulla; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 2, No. 6, pp. 335-345
Publication Date: November 2007
Swedish longitudinal study of elderly persons’ use and experience of assistive devices in daily living. The study included 201 persons followed over a ten-year period from age 76 to 86. Data were collected by structured interviews during home visits followed by open-ended interviews at the end of the study. A total of 477 devices were used with a median of 2 per individual. The most common type of device was the walking cane (19 percent) followed by tub boards (17 percent), raised toilet seats (10 percent) and rollators for outdoor use (10 percent). A significantly higher proportion (69 percent) used assistive devices at age 86 than at age 76 (43 percent). During the interval 35 percent were permanent users, about 33 percent became new users, and 23 percent used no devices. Among those being dependent on personal help, 81 percent were users of assistive devices, as compared to 55 percent among those being independent. Regarding the usefulness, reason for use and experience of using assistive devices, results of the study showed elderly persons’ perspectives on personal, practical and social aspects varied greatly and were often contradictory, calling for an open mind and a dynamic approach by services providing these devices.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )