A census in which 4514 people aged 65 and over had been enumerated in all types of institutional care both within and outside the National Health Service in Leicestershire was taken as a starting point for the present investigation. This entire population was followed up for one year to determine its mortality experience. Mortality was described by three measures: (a) the proportion surviving for one year from the date of the census, (b) the standardised mortality ratio (using the population of Leicestershire in 1977 as a standard), and (c) using a life-table analysis, the percentage survival to specified time periods after admission to institutional care. We discuss the relationship of these indices to functional capacity, indicated by the ability to undertake basic activities of daily living (ADL), and to type of institution.
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