|Abstract:||Ageing and long-term care are a part of our everyday life. Ageing is a constituent part of a life cycle which we enter on the level of entire organism at our birth. Illness and old age can cause changes in our health condition. If we are ill and we are not informed about the possibilities which are offered by the local environment regarding the help at satisfying our basic life needs, we can react with time, social or material distress because we cannot see the solution at that moment.
With the questionnaire we wanted to gain information about independent functioning of elderly people in their home environment at performing narrow and broad daily activities. We were interested in how much help they need with that, whether they use any aids and how they gained them.
In current system of health and social care, the elderly in home environment can get visits from home care service and social care providers, so we were interested in who visits the elderly, helps them at performing daily activities and whom they would choose to help them at performing daily activities if the help was needed.
We asked the members of Slovene Federation of Pensioners’ Associations to participate in the survey. Inclusion criteria of the members Slovene pensioners’ associations who participated in the survey, were the age higher than 65 years, living at home and readiness for voluntary participation.
For the purposes of the survey, five research hypotheses were formed. In order to check them we decided to use parametric tests. It turned out that in many cases we got the abnormal distribution of data, which we then considered at the choice of tests for confirming the hypotheses.
With statistical treatment of data, we found out that elderly people are more independent at performing activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, feeding, grooming, walking) that at performing instrumental activities of daily living (uses the phone, shopping, cooking, housework, laundry, driving, managing medications) where they need more help. They receive most help at performing activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living from their relatives and friends. Additional sources of help at performing activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living are formal (social care providers) and informal providers of help (relatives and friends).
Among medical aids they often use glasses for reading and long shoe horns to put shoes on. Very important is the use of communication-information technology in the form of a mobile phone.
Adaptation of living environment is an area that in some cases elderly have already learnt about or got familiar with simple adjustments in preventive programs or through wide variety of media. From the standpoint of adjusting home environment, it is essential to think about suitability of arranging living areas at the time of renovation or before retirement when financial means still allow such investments and changes are still acceptable.
The research outcomes are the most important basis to form a set of services and their contents for providers of long-term care. They were our basis for forming the spiral model of long-term care. They led us to further research. By finding out the needs of elderly people for occupational therapy service, we formed with the help of a spiral model a set of occupational therapy services for the long-term care.
The created spiral model of long-term care is based on including formal as well as informal providers into the system of offering and performing services for users of long-term care. With application of such interdisciplinary way of treating the elderly, we will enable them to spend their old age in their homes in the way they themselves have chosen.|