Social work

experience and methods

How Home Care Services Affect the Quality of Life of Elderly People?

Review

It is evident that in an elderly society demand for personal home care in­creases, so it is important to evaluate how personal home care services inf­luence an individual’s quality of life. The Aim of Study – to evaluate links between quality of life and home care services. Research methods. A survey with the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire, which assesses quality of life in physical, psychological, social and envi­ronment domains, was conducted. Research sample: 170 persons (M=80) of whom 106 received personal social care at home and 64 who were not receiving such care, but were willing to get it. Results revealed that elderly people who received social care at home have a tendency to show higher quality of life in the environmental domain compared with those who did not receive personal social care at home. Elderly people who are receiving social help from the environment (e.g., neighbors) more frequently experienced higher quality of life in the social relationship domain, and a similar tendency in the environment domain; however, elderly people who are receiving social help from their relatives (family) more frequently experienced higher levels of quality of life in all domains.

Conclusion. Results revealed that for elderly people, formal personal social care at home improves quality of life only partially. To improve el­derly people’s quality of life to a higher level it is recommended to satisfy older people’s psychosocial needs, with the integration of such informal sources of social care as relatives, neighbors and community.

Keywords: social work with older people, quality of life, personal home care.

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