Physical and mental health of older people with disabilities in residential homes in Switzerland

Wicki, Monika T.

In: Sage Open Medicine, 2021, p. 1-11

Objectives: People with disabilities are underserved in terms of health care and prevention, and special health conditions exist among older people with intellectual disabilities. The Swiss Health Survey only covers people over the age of 15 years living in private households. Therefore, this study aims to assess the health status of older persons living in residential facilities for adults... More

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    Summary
    Objectives: People with disabilities are underserved in terms of health care and prevention, and special health conditions exist among older people with intellectual disabilities. The Swiss Health Survey only covers people over the age of 15 years living in private households. Therefore, this study aims to assess the health status of older persons living in residential facilities for adults with disabilities. Methods: A cross-sectional survey with written questionnaires was conducted in six cantons in Switzerland to capture context factors and the physical health status of persons aged between 50 and 65 years in residential homes in Switzerland. The survey collected data on physical and mental health from 241 persons aged 50–65 years living in residential homes for people with disabilities. This was compared with data from the 2012 Swiss Health Survey comprising a sample of 2261 persons of the same age with chronic morbidities living in their own apartments. Results: Regarding their health, 94.1% of the survey respondents rated it as being very good, good or moderate. Although higher limitations on activities of daily living, higher levels of psychological distress and lower energy and vitality were reported by all respondents, a lower level of health issues was assessed than in the sample of persons with chronic morbidities living in their own apartment. Conclusion: Low energy and vitality, high limitations on activities of daily living, high psychological distress, high obesity rates and the assessment of health issues and pain should be specifically addressed in residential homes for people with disabilities.