Technical aids and housing adaptations among very old people with self-reported Parkinson's disease compared to matched controls
Maria Haak, Björn Slaug, Charlotte Löfqvist, Maria H Nilsson
Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Background and aim: This study aimed to explore the use and perceived unmet need of technical aids and housing adaptations among very old people, living alone in ordinary housing with self-reported Parkinson's disease, compared to matched controls.
Methods: Data collected in the European ENABLE-AGE study were used to identify people with self-reported Parkinson's disease
(n = 20) and to select three matched controls per individual (n = 60). The matching criteria were age (mean = 82 years), sex, country, and type of housing. Analyses targeted use and perceived unmet need of technical aids and housing adaptations.
Results: Very old people with self-reported Parkinson's disease use significantly more aids for personal mobility than very old people in general. They have, furthermore, a significant increased unmet need concerning aids for personal care and protection. Housing adaptations did not differ between the two groups.
Conclusion: Since people with Parkinson's disease use technical aids to a higher extent and express an unmet need, they may require more thorough counseling regarding technical aids. Thus, this explorative study provides important information for health care professionals, rehabilitation, and future research. Moreover, in order to develop knowledge about specific challenges connected to Parkinson's disease among the very old, further and larger studies targeting environmental resources are needed. Such studies should preferably include people with a verified diagnosis.
Keywords: technical aids, environment, rehabilitation, activities of daily life
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