Seniors at Risk: The Association between the Six-Month Use of Publicly Funded Home Support Services and Quality of Life and Use of Health Services for Older People
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This study examines the baseline characteristics and changes in health status and cost of use of health services associated with use of publicly funded home support services. The analysis includes 122 people 75 years of age or more who were eligible for home support services. Over a 6-month period, one third of the sample used home support services for more than 1 hr/week; these seniors had higher rates of depression and cognitive impairment, lower levels of physical and emotional functioning, and less effective coping styles than those who used fewer services. Cognitive impairment explained 17 per cent of the variation in use of home support services. At 6 months, use of home support services for more than 1 hr/week by seniors with higher levels of need was associated with lower cost of use of health services and lower levels of improvement in health status. These findings suggest the need for further research to identify efficacious ways of providing home support services to this population to enhance their health status using available resources.
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