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Telephones for the Elderly

October 30, 2009

I have got a couple of the Institute of Community Studies (one of our predecessor organisations founded by Michael Young) old documents on my desk which a colleague pulled out of the archives. One of them is about ‘Telephones for the Elderly’ and discusses the impact of telephones on the lives of the elderly housebound in Hull.

Let’s just say it was quite profound:

“The most dramatic effect of the telephone was that those who had one installed at the start of the experiment were much more likely to be both alive and leading independent lives at the end of the year than those who did not recieve telephones. Total “dropout” rates were over three times as great amongst those without telephones. They were both more likely to die and to give up living in their own homes. Death rates alone were over twice as high as for those with telephones. Since the groups were closely matched…these findings tend to imply that the role of the telephone was critical”

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