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General Overview of Patient Population of the Community Geriatric Department and Home Care Unit during the "Gulf War" / תשקיף על אוכלוסיית מטופלי המחלקה לגריאטריה-קהילתית וטיפול-בית בעת מלחמת המפרץ

פנחס ברקמן, גבריאל מור, Pinhas Berkman and Gabriel Mor
Gerontology / גרונטולוגיה
No. 59/60 (חורף-אביב, 1993), pp. 47-52
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23481570
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
General Overview of Patient Population of the Community Geriatric Department and Home Care Unit during the "Gulf War" / תשקיף על אוכלוסיית מטופלי המחלקה לגריאטריה-קהילתית וטיפול-בית בעת מלחמת המפרץ
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Abstract

280 'homebound' patients belonging to a home – care program, were enrolled in the study, 6 weeks after conclusion of the Gulf War. The study was carried out by a postal questionnaire and achieved a compliance rate of 70%. The results of this survey disclosed specific characteristics of the homebound elderly, which were compiled into five categories. Partial results of each, are as follows: (1) Demographic patterns: Median age of 77 years, about 30% of whom were in need of assistance (from another person) for mobility, 79% suffered from multiple chronic illnesses. (2) Housing conditions: 92% live in their own apartment, 74% on the first or second floor. During the war 29% have moved to another location: 23% to hotel – like facilities, 18% left the Tel-Aviv area. An aditional person joined 24% of the elderly, – mostly for a "24-hour-supervision" (86%). (3) Behavioral patterns during alarm spells: 92% used the "sealed room", only 4% went to the shelter. 32% did not use the gas mask – 41% of whome because of dyspnea and 25% were unable to put on the mask by themselves. 39% did not hear the alarm. (4) Psychosocial aspects: 69% of the participants mentioned that there was no contact by any organization with them. For 9% the informal caregiver was the only source of psychological support. 25% of the elderly were alone during the alarm spells which occurred more than 3 times for 75% of them. The older the patients, the lower the anxiety levels they expressed (as assessed on an anxiety scale). (5) Special events: 17% were hospitalized during the war period. 49% reported changes in their health status but only 56% related these changes to the war. 24% suffered a "fall", 49% of whom reported increased in falls – frequency. In 26% of the cases the fall resulted in bone fracture. In conclusion: – the diversity of issues mentioned above merit a multidisciplinary planning group approach for future solutions for the elderly.

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