Social and health care needs of elderly people living in the countryside in Poland

Małgorzata Dziechciaż 1, Edyta Guty 2, Agata Wojtowicz 2, Rafał Filip 3
1 - ‘DAR’ Medical Care Centre, Jarosław, Poland; Heath Care Institute, State Higher Technical and Economic Education Institution, Jarosław, Poland
2 - Heath Care Institute, State Higher Technical and Economic Education Institution, Jarosław, Poland
3 - Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med
2012; 19 (4):
ICID: 1024076
Article type: Original article
 
 
Introduction. The needs of elderly people living in the countryside constitute serious health, social, financial and organizational problems.
Aim of the study. To define the needs of elderly people living in the countryside regarding complex living actions. Data collected and methodology. The study was carried out among 89 village citizens from the Podkarpackie Voivodeship (N=55; 61.8% women; N=34; 38.2% men) aged 61-2. Average age in the group was 76.3 (+/ -7.9 years). Research methods were 3 different questionnaires, applied to evaluate: socio-demographic data, occurrence of diseases and rehabilitation usage, mental and intellectual status, as well as the Lawton scale (IADL) assessing complex life activities.
Results. 18 subjects (20.2%) were fully functional in the scope of complex everyday activities. The highest number were independent in their financial affairs (N=52; 58.4%), preparation and taking of medicine (N=45; 50.6%), and using the telephone (N=39; 43.8%). Lack of self-reliance was most commonly observed with difficult housework (N=62; 69.7%), shopping (N=55; 61.8%), and walking distances exceeding regular walks (N=46; 51.7%). No relation was observed between gender, usage of social welfare, and self-reliance in complex everyday activities. Deterioration in efficiency in the scope of complex everyday activities was observed which progressed with age, and was worse among the unmarried subjects. A relation between material situation and independence, based on the IADL scale, was confirmed, with the exception of using the telephone.
Conclusions. 1). People of old age living in the countryside most often need help with complex everyday housework, shopping, and walking distances exceeding regular walks. 2). With the advancement of age, the subjects need help with all IADL activities increased.
PMID 23311801 - click here to show this article in PubMed
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