P.M.A. van Bilsen
- The use of community-based social services by elderly people at risk of institutionalization: An evaluation
- HEALTH POLICY
- Volume | Issue number
- 87 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
Objective: To examine the use of community-based social services by elderly people at risk of institutionalization, who prefer to remain at home.
Methods: A study with a longitudinal design (measurements at two points in time) was conducted.
Results: One hundred and thirty-four elderly people (mean age = 82 years) were interviewed twice. At baseline, 81 respondents indicated that they made use of at least one social service (60.4%). After 1 year the use of these services did not increase significantly (64.2%, p = 0.53). Only two services (socio-cultural activities and restaurant facility) out of five services were used frequently. The respondents reported more autonomy and fewer feelings of loneliness after 1 year. These positive changes cannot be related to an increased use of services.
Discussion: Overall, the use of social services remained moderate. This raises questions about the need for these services, the possible barriers and the ability of these social services to contribute to de-institutionalization.
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