A comparison was made of the behavioural disabilities of two groups of elderly institutionalised people, one in psychogeriatric hospital wards and the other in residential homes. The results indicated that despite considerable overlap, there is evidence of significantly greater disability in the hospital population, particularly as regards incontinence, confusion, communication difficulties, and need for supervision. Comparison with previous data suggests that there is an increasing number of elderly people with such problems in the care of social services departments. This trend, if supported and continued, is likely to reduce further the distinction between old people in hospital and those in social services homes, with important implications for future planning of the care and management of the elderly.
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