Le strutture residenziali per anziani: una ricerca in cinque Regioni Italiane. Il progetto Progres-Anziani
de Girolamo G
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Objective: To survey all Residential Facilities (RFs) for the elderly in five Italian Regions (Calabria, Sardinia, Sicily. Umbria and Veneto), and to evaluate their logistic and organizational characteristics, staff and residents' features. Design: Structured interviews were conducted with RF managers. Setting: All RFs operating in the five Italian Regions. Results: In the five Regions there are 853 RFs with an average of 198.0 beds per 10000 elderly inhabitants; this rate shows a marked variability between different Regions. The mean number of beds in the RFs is 59.8 (median: 34). The large majority (96%) have a 24-hour staff cover. In terms of management, the RFs are handled by local municipalities (29%), religious non-profit associations (24%), and other non-profit organizations (21%). In the 754 RFs surveyed (91.1% of the sample) there were 24.456 workers employed, even the number of staff in each facility shows a great variability. The mean number of workers directly involved in residents' care is 27.8, and the ratio residents/staff is 2.1, which becomes lower (1.8) if we consider the ratio non-independent residents/staff. In the 754 RFs there were 42,687 residents, with an average of 53.5 elderly residents for each facility and 3.2 residents below the age of 65; the mean age of the resident sample was 79.3 years, and there is an high proportion of residents with neurological (including dementia), psychiatric or medical disorders. Conclusion: There is marked variability in the provision of residential places between different Regions; many other characteristics of RFs for the elderly, including staff/residents ratios, show a similar variability Most RFs host elderly with a variety of neurological, psychiatric and medical disorders. The future waves of the project will shed light on many features of these institutions, which care for 2.1% of the elderly population in Italy and may serve larger proportions of the elderly in the future.