Elderly people who choose to be cared for in their own homes tend to be healthier than residents of care homes, according to a Department of Health survey.
The 2000 Health Survey for England found that 41 per cent of elderly care home residents were judged to be incapable of completing the Hodgkinson’s Mental Test. This is a cognitive function test designed to measure how well a person’s memory works.
The test was completed by 59 per cent of care home residents. 18 per cent of these had a score of five or more demonstrating probable mental health problems.
In addition, the care home residents were asked if they had had any major accidents in the last six months.
The figures were then converted to the annual accident rates which were higher for care home residents than for elderly people in private households.
Three per cent reported having a fracture compared with one per cent of those in their own homes.
Nearly 70 per cent of men and almost 80 per cent of women were found to have a serious disability compared with 13 per cent of men and women in private households.