With increasing demands upon a geriatric psychiatry service, the priorities for day care and long-term hospital care have had to be re-examined. As a result, old people already in local authority residential care are receiving lower priority than those still in the community. In this study we suggest that certain behavioural characteristics and, in particular, incontinence, may present the caring staff of residential homes with special difficulties. We conclude that adequate assessment is essential to ensure that residents are suited to the level of facilities supplied.
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