Roles of Home Care and Rehabilitation Equipment for the Aged Who Need Care in Improving Performance

Roles of Home Care and Rehabilitation Equipment for the Aged Who Need Care in Improving Performance

Hiromi Nishiguchi (Tokai University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-284-8.ch016
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In this chapter, some countermeasures are shown for the aged who need care to be able to live their own daily life not only at home, but also in the community, under the situation of worldwide aged society. At first we survey the present situation of the aging in the world. Next, it is explained what human functions are, and how they change by the aging with some research findings. Because of the fall of functions, the barrier often occurs that the aged cannot perform an objective daily life activity. Therefore, the methods to remove the barrier are examined. In the removal methods of the barrier, the commentaries are focused to the support technology, such as home care and rehabilitation tools which utilize survival functions effectively. Furthermore, the research is introduced on satisfaction and well-being of users of rehabilitation facility service of day care, and it is pointed out that kind of service as a social resource is important for the aged who need care to support the independence and well-being in daily life. Effective use of social resources is required to facilitate knowledge management in community life.
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We human manage our own daily life with physical and intellectual functions. It is said that human functions change by aging, and many of their functions tend to deteriorate (Charness, 1985). The aged society has being come in the many countries, as shown in Figure 1. Therefore many aged people whose physical or intellectual functions deteriorated need the help of others to live their own daily life.

Figure 1.

The change of the aged population rate in the world. (Quoted from The United Nations. World Population Project (The 2000 Revision))


ADL (Activities of Daily Living) are essential behavior to perform our daily life. ADL composes of the following activities; “Transfer from bed or chair”, “Mobility”, “Dressing”, “Eating”, “Toilet use”, “Bathing”, ”Grooming”, and “Communication”. They are called “basic ADL”, these are composed of fundamental and crucial self-care tasks. Furthermore, IADL (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) are necessary functions to enable the individual to live independently within a community. They are as follows: “Using the telephone, “Community mobility”, “Shopping for groceries”, “preparing meals”, “light housework”, and “taking medications and managing money”.

To support the aged who need care not only at home but also in community, many countermeasures have been carried out. “Social resources” as one of the countermeasures, are utilized very much to support to live independent at home and in a community for the aged who need care. The definition of “social resources” is as follows; It is a complex system composed of legal systems, welfare services, man power, support technology, and the aggregate of a fund / supplies, and it fills up needs of the aged who need care in the daily life at home and in community.

In this chapter, the author discusses about the relation between human functions and ADL, and countermeasures that make the aged who need care to be able to live an independent life at home and in community, from the viewpoints of support technology and home care.


Human Functions And Their Changes By Aging

Human Functions

A human being performs daily life by perception of various outside stimuli. The outside stimuli are obtained by “sense organs” such as sight or hearing at first. Next, this perception information is transmitted into “nervous system of the brain” via the centripetal tendency nervous system. And a perception / cognitive processing are performed there, and the order is decided by these processing. The order is sent to effectors such as hands or feet, and a reaction action is carried out at last.

The human functions are classified into three kinds. Those are sensory functions, perception / cognitive functions, and exercise (action) functions.

  • Sensory functions; they are composed of five kinds as follows; sight by eyes, hearing by ears, sense of touch by skin, taste by tongue, and smell by nose.

  • Perception / cognitive functions; perception function is to transform outside stimuli into significant information for human independent action. And cognitive function gives a behavior pattern that is decided by processing rules stored in long-term memories. There are three kind of process in cognition; skill base, rule base, and knowledge base (Rusmussen, 1986).

  • Exercise (action) functions are mainly performed with a part of body site such as upper or lower limbs. And intention transmission to another person is also one of important behaviors of exercise functions.

A human information processing is usually explained by the S-R (Stimuli-Reaction) model shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Human information processing (by S-R model)


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