Home Accidents in the Elderly in Turkey
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Houses may accommodate environmental barriers that pose a risk for older people. This study aimed to identify the main characteristics of the dwellings of the elderly, and to assess the impact of those on home accidents. In that cross-sectional study, 3,277 people over 60 years of age living in Aydin province of Turkey were evaluated in December 2004, using a questionnaire and a home safety check list. The results indicated that 38.6% of the elderly have had any type of home accident within the last 12 months, and the most common type of accident was falls (31.9% of all accidents). Possible causes of accidents were analyzed and the houses were graded based on two different types of safety point scales (SP): SP1 for "house characteristics" and SP2 for "personal opinions." According to SP1, 22.7% of the houses were defined as in poor condition while this percentage was 20.1% according to SP2. Poor housing conditions, being female, living alone, having a chronic illness, physical and hearing disability, wearing eyeglasses, inactivity, use of assistive devices and more than four drugs were found to be associated with having a home accident. The environmental hazards and factors contributing to accidents or injuries were well-known. However, the information about home accidents in the elderly and the impact of dwelling characteristics was limited. This study was considered to be helpful to provide a new perspective on this subject. More studies are needed using the home safety check lists to collect additional quantitative data.
- Tohoku J. Exp. Med.
Tohoku J. Exp. Med. 209(4), 291-301, 2006-08-01
Tohoku University Medical Press