The objective of this article is to investigate predictors of public home help utilization, particularly mental health problems such as dementia and depressive symptoms.
A population-based sample of community-dwelling people aged 81-100 was interviewed and assessed with medical examinations (N = 502).
Dementia increased the odds of receiving public home help among people residing alone. Among coresiding people, it increased the odds of receiving home help, but only among those who had extra residential care. Depressive symptoms decreased the odds of receiving home help among people with lower levels of education who lived alone. Depressive symptoms among highly educated people who lived alone and among coresiding people of any educational level were not related to receipt of home help.
Improvement of screening activities for public home help needs of community-dwelling elders might allow better targeting of limited social resources to the most needy.