Publications

Incorporating assistive devices into community-based long-term care: An analysis of the potential for substitution and supplementation

This article examines the use of assistive devices as a part of the long-term care arrangements of community-dwelling older Americans. It examines the potential for assistive devices to substitute for and supplement personal care assistance. OBJECTIVES. This article examines the use of assistive devices as a part of the long-term care arrangements of community-dwelling older Americans. It examines the potential for assistive devices to substitute for and supplement personal care assistance. METHODS. Data from the Phase 2 Disability Supplements to the 1994-1995 National Health Interview Surveys are used to compare the use of personal care and equipment among persons reporting difficulty with a given activity of daily living. RESULTS. The capacity of equipment to substitute for or supplement personal care is highly task-specific and depends on the characteristics of the devices and the personal care providers. In general, those using simple devices are less likely to use informal care, whereas those using complex devices are more likely to use formal care services. DISCUSSION. Technology has the potential to confer quality of life enhancements for older persons and their caregivers and cost savings for payers.