Research Article

Medical and social factors influencing admission to residential care.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 03 March 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:701
  1. W J MacLennan,
  2. F E Isles,
  3. S McDougall,
  4. E Keddie


    The increasing number of people aged over 75 in Britain makes heavy demands on health and social services. To obtain accurate information for rational allocation of resources to domiciliary and residential services a group of 98 housebound women over 75 were compared with a group of 99 women of the same age in residential care. They had a similar range of physical disorders with the exception that deafness was more common among women in residential care. A much higher proportion in residential care were demented. Though in many respects women in residential care had less physical incapacity, a higher proportion needed help at times of crisis. Important social factors were that women at home were more likely to be living with others, and that the principal helper was more likely to be a husband or relative than a neighbour. Both groups received the same amount of support from home helps and community nurses. Any reduction in the number of residential care places for elderly women whose relatives are not available or are unable to cope would require the establishment of an effective community psychogeriatric service and a system for providing appropriate subjects with 24 hour care and supervision.