Assistive Device Use Among the Elderly: Trends, Characteristics of Users, and Implications for Modeling


This study adds to understanding by updating information on trends in use of disability equipment and exploring how disability and other characteristics differ for equipment users and nonusers. Data are from the 1984-1999 rounds of the National Long Term Care Survey, which has been a key source of earlier information on trends in equipment use. The authors examine several trends in the use of equipment over the period 1984-1999, including use of equipment with and without help, use of equipment for specific activities, and use of particular types of equipment. They then examine how disability, characteristics relating to the availability of potential caregivers and environmental accommodations, and socioeconomic characteristics differ for those using and not using equipment, and how hours of care vary by whether and how equipment is used. Finally, the authors discuss implications for of the findings for models relating to the role of assistive devices in managing disability. [54 PDF pages]

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