Home away from Home: Quality of Life, Assessment of Facilities and Reason for Settlement in Old Age Homes of Lucknow, India
Background: The old-age home industry is mostly unregulated and there is a need for putting in place certain minimum standards. Many times poor and destitute persons who may need institution-based care cannot afford them. Long-term care has a price, and there is also a need for debate on its policy and best practice. Objectives: 1) To find out the various factors for availing the residential services of old age homes. 2) To assess the facilities available in old age homes. 3) To study the quality of life of elderly people in old age homes. Methods: It was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Study population was elderly (age ≥60 years) enrolled in free and paid old age homes (OAHs) of Lucknow city. All the elderly living in OAHs for ≥ 6 months and had given the consent for interview were included in the study. Results: The most important reason for elderly people living in Free OAHs was no care giver (77.1%) followed by poverty (20.0%). In case of Paid OAHs it was no care giver (36.4%) followed by self-satisfaction (34.8%). Services were significantly better (p <0.05) in paid type of OAHs. Statistically significant differences in the mean score of quality of life were found in case of type of OAH and financial dependency status of elderly people. Conclusions: No care giver, self-satisfaction and loneliness were important reasons in Paid OAHs whereas in Free OAHs no care giver, poverty and support from children were the main reasons. With the exception of food all other facilities were significantly better in paid OAHs. Quality of life and facilities of Paid OAHs were significantly better than Free OAHs. Financial status of elderly people was responsible for this significant difference.