APH 1997, 55, 63-85:

Functional status and the care network among elderly residents of sheltered housing.

L. Vanden Boer

Keywords: the elderly, sheltered accommodation, functional status, care network

Service flats and serviced housing complexes are two housing cum-care facilities for the elderly that have seen an explosive grow since the beginning of the nineties.  At the end of 1993, a representative sample of residents (n=620) in Flanders was interviewd orally in accordance with a structured questionnaire.  The survey aimed-among other things-to draw up a profile of the population.  This article will focus on the functional status, and the correlates of the care network.  It was found that most of the service-flat residents are able to take care of their personal hygiene by themselves, but that they need help with a variety of domestic chores.  Although help is most commonly requested from formal services, an important role is also played by the informal network.  Residents who receive help from informal carers are less likely to use formal services.  But, in case of a fairly great need of care-which means that ADL self-dependence is no longer sustainable and therefore, a more specialized help usually proves indispensable-informal help is not a substitute for formal services.  Different models of the relationship between formal and informal support are discussed.