BACKGROUND: It seems urgent to further develop and modify models of preventive measures in order to prolong a healthy functional and social situation for older people, as this population is increasing globally. The aim of the study was to describe a Swedish model of preventive home visits for persons aged 78 years with the focus on the effect on physical and social well-being, and the participants' and the visitors' experience of the home visits.
METHOD: Three annual visits were performed and included 150 persons, 78 years old at the first visit. Data were collected in the form of a structured interview with the persons who received the visits and as a questionnaire for their visitors.
RESULTS: Differences over time could be seen for the participants' physical and social activity, indicating that there was a deterioration between year one and two that was not seen in year three. The results further showed that the participants felt more secure and well informed as a result of the visits. The visitors said that they had gained a new, more positive view of older people and increased job satisfaction as a result of the visits and emphasized the impact on their own professional development.
CONCLUSION: As no control group was used, the interpretation of effects concerning health factors has to be interpreted with caution. The visits did, however, have a positive impact on the participants and the visitors.
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