Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice Observed

Aids and adaptations for the elderly at home: underprovided, underused, and undermaintained

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 14 May 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1365
  1. J George,
  2. V E Binns,
  3. A D Clayden,
  4. G P Mulley


    A random sample of 140 elderly people aged over 75 was selected from the age-sex register of an urban general practice to assess the provision and use of aids and adaptations in their homes. Many of the aids that the elderly had were faulty, including half of the walking aids and 15% of hearing aids, reading spectacles, and dentures, and up to half of the aids were not used. Yet despite this underuse there were many disabled elderly people who required aids for the bath and toilet.

    When screening of elderly people is carried out in general practice assessment of aids and adaptations should be included to see that they are provided where needed, are used, and are adequately maintained.